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I've been testing my new site on my PC's IE 7 (actually IE 8 in 'IE 7 mode'), and yesterday I installed WineBottler's 'IE 7'.

Testing across both, WInebottler's IE 7 looks significantly older, and significantly worse.

Do you know why this is and how I might be able to fix it?

Related question, if I decide Winebottler isn't working and I'd like to go with Parallels or VirtualBox, do I need to shell out the $200+ for Windows as well?

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What do you mean, "looks significantly older, and significantly worse"? Do you mean layout differences, colors, image rendering, anti-aliasing, text? –  user568458 Oct 16 '12 at 9:25
    
I mean both that the rendering is different (it renders differently to a native IE7) and the browser design looks antiquated like an old Netscape browser. They just don't look or feel the same. –  sscirrus Oct 18 '12 at 20:44
    
When you say rendering, you mean text rendering? Or are there other types of rendering that are different too? More detail or side-by-side screenshots would really help here. –  user568458 Oct 19 '12 at 8:38
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Your description about IE 7's looks is a little too unspecific to give you a definite answer. I'm guessing that you are referring to text rendering. Wine uses a few open source libraries to render texts. These produce different results from Windows' built in text rendering. Also, it replaces some (all?) fonts with free alternatives because of copyright issues. The result is that text does look different between Wine and Windows.

As for your second question, yes, you'd need to buy a separate Windows license. If you don't need to test with IE 9, you can go with an XP license. They are dirt cheap these days.

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