Adobe tempts web designers with BrowserLab

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Adobe tempts web designers with BrowserLab

Adobe Systems has released a free preview version of BrowserLab, a hosted service for web designers.

The firm said that Adobe BrowserLab will let designers test web sites across a wide variety of browsers and operating systems, helping them to iron out compatibility and usability issues.

The service offers a number of diagnostic tools to help with the development and design process, and hopefully remove any problems with a web site before its launch.

"Cross-browser testing has been one of the biggest challenges for web designers, because it is such an arduous and time-intensive task," said Lea Hickman, director of Adobe's creative solutions business unit.

"BrowserLab enables comprehensive browser compatibility testing in a matter of minutes, leaving web designers with more time to be creative and deliver the high-impact sites customers are demanding."

Virtualisation software lets the developer compare pages on different operating systems within the same window, including the ability to layer pages on top of each other. A zoom function can also be employed should errors be tricky to spot or require some close-up work.

BrowserLab supports all current browsers and operating systems, according to the firm, including Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox 2 and 3, and Safari 3 and upwards. IE8, Google Chrome and Opera are all missing from the initial list, however, while on the operating systems side users must be running Windows XP or Vista, or Mac OS X.

The preview requires Flash Player 10, and is available now.

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