Microsoft on Wednesday introduced modern.IE, a web-based resource for developers that offers tools to help optimize web sites for modern browsers like Internet Explorer 10.

“There is a delta between where the web is currently, and the potential of where it can go with a modern browser, and a big part of this is time spent making sites work for old browsers,” a Microsoft representative told me. “For developers, testing can take up to 30 to 40 percent of their time. Imagine if that time was spent creating new experiences leveraging the tools we’ve provided, and not on addressing the past.  We’re excited about what’s possible on the web and what developers will be able to create once they have more time to innovate.”

In a post to the Exploring IE blog, Microsoft general manager Ryan Gavin explained that modern.IE comes in the wake of many changes that have thoroughly modernized the company’s web browser. These changes include adopting automatic updates, the introduction of IE platform preview releases to get early developer feedback, and embracing modern web standards, “coupled with cutting edge performance and advanced touch capabilities.”

But modern.IE is designed to help developers overcome what is arguably the web’s biggest issue as a platform today: the proliferation of older versions of IE and other browsers makes it hard to develop modern web sites that work well across browsers. To that end, modern.IE provides three tools today, and Microsoft promises more are on the way. These include:

Code detection wizard. modern.IE has a wizard that scans for common coding practices that might prevent users from having their best experience on a site. Developers start by entering a webpage URL that they want to test and then the wizard reports on problems and provides recommendations.

Free Virtual Testing Service with BrowserStack. modern.IE includes special access to BrowserStack, a leading virtual browser testing site that lets developers test their site on any browser available on Windows, regardless of what OS their test machine is running. Best of all, developers who visit the site via modern.IE will receive three months of free service over the next year.

Best practices and sample code for cross-browser coding. modern.IE compiles the top 20 tech tips that address most of the compatibility issues developers have coding for the web and IE today.

Modern.IE is available now.