Run IE6 and Other Old Apps in Windows 7 with Spoon

By Matthew Guay on September 28th, 2010

Would you like to run programs on your PC without installing them?  Whether you’re wanting to run an outdated app or just want to try a program before installing it, here’s how you can run many programs online with Spoon.

Spoon is an application virtualization service that lets you run many browsers, apps, and games on your PC without installing them.  It streams the app from their server to your PC, letting you try a mirage of programs from outdated browsers to indie games without installing them.  Let’s see how this works.

First, you’ll need to install the Spoon browser plugin.  Head to their website (link below), and click Install Spoon plugin.

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Once the program is downloaded, run it as normal to install it.  You’ll see an indicator as Spoon is setup on your computer.

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Seconds later, you’ll be informed that the Spoon Plugin is installed on your computer.

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Now, visit the Spoon app library (link below) in your favorite browser.  Spoon works in recent versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari for Windows.  Hover over the bottom of an app’s icon and click the blue arrow to launch it.

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Alternately, click Start Now from the application’s description page.

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You’ll see a small notification in the bottom of your browser window as the app is buffered to your computer.

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As soon as the app is streamed to your computer, it’ll open just like any normal program you have installed on your computer.  The app should run fairly smoothly, but it may pause for a few moments if you open a menu or settings dialog that you haven’t used yet.

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You’ll see the program’s icon in your computer’s taskbar, and the app will be fully integrated with Windows just like any installed app.  The only difference is, you didn’t have to install the program, and once you close it, you’ll have to re-open it from the Spoon website.

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When you’re done using a Spoon app, you can save files to your computer as normal.

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Test Your Site in Different Browser Versions

One of the best things you can do with Spoon is test your websites in older versions of popular browsers.  Spoon includes Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 beta, as well as several versions of Firefox, Safari, and Opera.  To test your site in one of these browsers, simply run them as you would any other Spoon app.

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Moments later, you’ll see an older version of IE running directly in Windows.  Here we have IE6 running on our Windows 7 PC that has IE9 beta installed.  Normally you can’t run different versions of IE side-by-side, but Spoon makes it a snap to do this.

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Here’s our site open in Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 beta, all on the same Windows 7 PC.  Notice their individual icons on the left of the taskbar.  This is one of the few ways you can quickly test out your sites in older versions of IE, and it worked great in our tests.

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Spoon is a really neat way to run apps on your PC.  We were amazed at how well it ran, and plan to use it for testing sites in older browsers and more.  Whether you’re wanting to run apps without installing them or just want to try out an older program, Spoon is an exciting tool.  Give it a try, and let us know how you used it in the comments.

Install Spoon and Find Out More

Browse and Run Available Spoon Apps

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 09/28/10
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