Test on Windows OS
Test websites on multiple versions of Real Windows OS. No Emulators or Simulators, only Real Devices.
Check website compatibility with the latest & older Windows versions.
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Windows Versions we support
Just played around with BrowserStack: Quite cool, instant access to a browser in a VM with dev tools.
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React Router tests are green on Safari, @googlechrome, @firefox, IE 10-11, and Mobile Safari thanks 2 @browserstack!
Frequently Asked Questions
Microsoft had said that 1.5 billion users run the Windows OS across multiple versions worldwide. In fact,
Windows 7 seems to be running on about 100 million machines, even though Microsoft has ended support for the OS.
To say Windows is a popular OS is one of the great understatements of the 21st century. It is the undisputed global leader in OS market coverage. You can assume that most people who use a PC using Windows.
Therefore, any website that wants to get to the widest possible audience needs to be exceptionally compatible with multiple versions of the Windows OS. Such compatibility is only possible if the site is extensively tested on real Windows devices that are running the OS.
Quick Note: While there are technical differences between the two, the terms “emulator” and “simulator” are often used interchangeably in popular QA parlance.
A Windows emulator is a software product that can run on any other OS but still allows testers to access the features and layout of the Windows OS. Basically, testers can check how their websites will appear and work on Windows, even though your workstation may originally run on some other OS like macOS or Linux.
Millions of users across the world use Windows-based devices to access and browse websites. Therefore, websites must be configured to run perfectly on multiple devices running multiple Windows versions. Ensuring such OS compatibility is only possible through comprehensive website testing on different Windows versions.
Don’t forget that Windows users access websites through devices with different screen sizes, hardware specifications, and resolutions. Therefore, you have to check site responsiveness across device types – usually numbering in the hundreds (at the very least).
The simplest way to test your websites on Windows is to follow the steps below:
- Sign up for a FREE BrowserStack account.
- Log in to Live.
- Choose from 3000+ real browsers & devices. Select the device-browser-Windows OS version you’d like to run tests on.
- Try out and verify every feature of your site on a real device running the browser and OS version you chose. You’ll be running these tests from the perspective of an end-user with the same hardware-software combination.
- Run accessibility tests, cross browser compatibility tests, speed tests, exploratory tests, and much more.
- Check how the site works in throttled internet conditions, or across different locations, national and global.
- Once you complete your tests on a single device, repeat them on others by switching to another browser and device running on Windows. You can also switch between Windows versions.
- Keep repeating tests until you’ve achieved the necessary device and OS coverage.
In a word, no. Emulators, even the best ones, cannot fully mimic the target OS. For example, even the Microsoft Emulator for Windows 10 Mobile does not allow for testing of the following:
- Vibration controller
- Brightness level as the emulator’s brightness is always high.
- Videos with a resolution higher than VGA resolution (640 x 480). They cannot be displayed reliably, especially on emulator images with 512MB of memory.
And that’s the case of an emulator released by the manufacturer of Windows. Other emulators may actually prevent you from testing major features. You may not be able to change device location, throttle the network connection, or check site compatibility with screen readers.
Modern websites are expected to cater to users of all locations, access levels, and physical/cognitive abilities. It is not possible to run adequately comprehensive tests with emulators, which means that your websites will probably have one or more glaring bugs when released to prod.
Additionally, emulators for every major Windows version may not always be available, at least not reliable ones. Often, a dependable emulator takes a while to build and release after the release of each new Windows OS. If you’re waiting for a high-grade emulator to become available before proceeding with QA activities, you’ll miss out on the competitive value of quick, robust product releases.
As mentioned above, a Windows emulator or simulator simply is not reliable enough to test for final software releases. Whatever the nature of the software and the team building it, real device, browser, and OS testing are non-negotiable.
BrowserStack facilitates exactly this. You get 3000+ browsers and devices on the cloud, available 24/7 for testing. With multiple Windows versions installed on different devices (desktop & mobile), you get the ideal test environment to evaluate software performance.
What’s more, you don’t have to bother with purchasing devices and OS versions or installing and configuring them for test readiness. You just have to purchase a BrowserStack subscription, not invest heavily in setting up, updating, and maintaining on-premise device labs.
Naturally, QA teams all over the world prefer BrowserStack over Windows simulators or emulators for testing.