Browsium has been around for almost two years now with their UniBrows product that runs an Internet Explorer 6 engine inside IE 8 and 9. In that time, they've found a number of ways to get on Microsoft's bad side. With Browsium's latest release--Ion--it appears they're friendly again.
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If you're not familiar with Browsium, Brian recorded a podcast with CEO Matt Heller back in November of 2011, so you should check that out. Tim Mangan also wrote a blog post about them, and Shawn Bass mentioned UniBrows in a session at BriForum last summer titled "Coping with IE6".
Announced yesterday, Ion is a new take on IE 6 compatibility in a Windows 7 world. Ion replaces UniBrows which, while popular, was at best not supported by Microsoft. At worst...well...let's just say you can't buy UniBrows anymore. That's ok, though, because Ion builds on UniBrows to the point where you don't actually have to be using the IE6 rendering engine at all (that's the part that makes Microsoft happy again).
The reason Microsoft wasn't in love with the Browsium of a few days ago is that what they were doing wasn't necessarily encouraging people to abandon Windows XP, because they still needed the bits from IE 6 to work. Some companies were comfortable ignoring all those "rules" and "EULAs" and went ahead with the solution that worked for them and enabled them to migrate to Windows 7. Others just stuck with Windows XP. Neither solution sits quite right with Microsoft, so they worked with Browsium to create a better product. One that enables companies to migrate to Windows 7 without perpetuating ten year old, insecure bits.
I'd love to test this software to get a feel for it, but this isn't exactly the kind of thing you can stand up in a lab--you pretty much have to have a real environment to test in. So, if you've already gotten your hands on Ion, let us know your thoughts in the comments.
In the meantime, though, it appears that Browsium and Microsoft have worked out a product that will both help the people that depend on Windows XP for IE6 and allow them to migrate to Windows 7 in a supported, legal way. Nobody can be mad about that.