Microsoft Develops a Web Site Testing Tool

Presumably as an answer to Adobe’s Meermeer testing suite, Microsoft is currently developing a tool to allow you to compare your Web site among various browsers. The tool is currently called “SuperPreview” and is apparently going to be a part of the next “Expression Web” suite (which seems to be a cross between the next incarnation of FrontPage and Microsoft’s answer to Dreamweaver).

Having not tried either Meermeer (MM) or SuperPreview (SP), here is a list of the pros and cons I’ve been able to gleen from various blog posts about the products:

  • SP will be a standalone application and will apparently not require an Internet connection. MM will be Flash-based, hosted solution.
  • SP only works on Windows, and will, initially, only support IE, Firefox and Safari (the demo version only supports IE). MM will work from any Flash-enabled browser.
  • SP allows you to overlay one browser’s rendering above another browser’s rendering and will even allow you to overlay the live site on top of a Photoshop file. MM has a feature called “OnionSkin,” which apparently allows you to overlay multiple views of the site on top of each other. I’m not sure if it will have any support for Photoshop files or not (wouldn’t that be ironic if Microsoft’s tool supported Photoshop and Adobe’s didn’t?).

It will be truly interesting to watch the development of both of these tools. I will definitely be pushing for the ability to use both in my professional life (and, if I can afford it, in my part-time side work, as well). For now, though, we all have to continue using IETester, MultipleIE and BrowserShots while keeping multiple browsers installed locally to try to test our sites in multiple browsers.