As a web developer, one of the first tasks you’ll need to do when you move to a new machine is work out a mechanism for testing in old versions of IE.

In the past, this may have involved some legally questionable installations of Windows XP to test in IE6, but thankfully those days are at an end with Microsoft’s site. By heading over to the site’s virtualisation tools page, devs are able to download virtual machines that run IE6 through to IE10 across a combination of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Windows images for Linux users — for real.

The best part of this site is that it is not limited to Windows only users; Mac and Linux users are able to grab VM images for their platforms, too.

The site has been out for a couple of months, but today it was updated to add IE10 on Windows 7 and IE8 on Windows XP.

An offer to grab Windows 8 and Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac on a USB stick for a charity donation sold out quickly, with Microsoft saying it will be looking at future offers for developers.

As with any VM usage, make sure that you have enough RAM in the host computer to handle the requirements of the client VM and can continue using the host without hanging or spluttering on both machines.

While the XP images only needs to be given up to 512MB of RAM, Vista will need up to 1GB, and Windows 7/8’s needs start at 1GB and go up to 2GB.