I talked with Dean Hachamovitch (the IE General Manager) a few times at Mix06 about why I feel Virtual PC is not a complete or practical solution to web developers who need to migrate from IE6 to IE7. I recommended a few alternate ideas in the very likely case that they just can't support a side-by-side install of IE in the near future. I think this is an important issue - it's a first experience sort of thing for web developers, many of whom have only ever supported one version of IE. I'm quite at home with VPC, but I don't think we should expect that from web developers who feel inconvenienced to have to use a PC in the first place. It's important that web developers learn to like IE, and first impressions are important.
I was very happy with his responsiveness on this issue. Dean was of course very busy at this conference, but took the time to respond to me in a thoughtful manner. I feel like he appreciated my point, and I'm optimistic that we might see something here.Dean is definitely the right person for this very difficult job.
I asked someone else - I won't mention his name, since it was kind of an informal question - just how bad an idea it is to run IE in the unsupported standalone mode . Does it just make the program unstable? Or will it trash my registry? Ignite my motherboard? The answer was that it's just an unstable program. Shouldn't damage the computer in the least. Good to know.