Setting up a web browser testing lab...
We are concerned solely with mimicking end-user machines. End-Users are defined as people outside our firewall that interact with our website via http.
Our long term goal is to build a Library of client OS images available in our VM Farm that our testers can use to create whichever OS/Browser combination they need for their testing, however, it will take awhile to get that up and running.
In the meantime, we are looking at some 3rd party providers as a stop-gap.
From what we have found so far, the vendors that emulate the Operating Systems (e.g., they provide remote access to a machine that emulates Windows XP using Windows Server 2003, or they emulate Vista and 7 using Server 2008) are *significantly* less expensive than those that provide actual Operating Systems.
Is anyone aware of the drawbacks of using emulated Operating Systems instead of "the real thing"?