Standards Will Be Default in IE 8
In a major shift of position, the next release of Microsoft's widely deployed
Internet Explorer browser will set standards-based rendering as the default,
a move that will affect how developers build and deploy Web content.
On Monday, Microsoft announced that it has decided to configure
IE 8 to render content developed using Web standards, coming off last month's
"We've decided that IE 8 will, by default, interpret Web content in the
most standards-compliant way it can," wrote Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's
general manager for Internet Explorer, in a blog
post. "This decision is a change from what we've posted previously."
Indeed, Microsoft's original plan for IE 8 centered around the display of pages
requesting "Standards" mode in IE 7's "Standards" mode,
and then developers would have to request IE 8's "Standards" mode
separately, Hachamovitch acknowledged.
"In light of the 'Interoperability Principles,' as well as feedback from
the community, we're choosing differently," Hachamovitch wrote. "Now,
IE 8 will show pages requesting 'Standards' mode in IE 8's 'Standards' mode.
Developers who want their pages shown using IE 8's 'IE 7 Standards mode' will
need to request that explicitly (using the http header/meta tag approach described
Hachamovitch added that the plan will be a key topic on the MIX08 agenda in
Las Vegas later this week. "This choice creates a clear call to action
to site developers to make sure their Web content works well in IE," he
One area where IE 8 has a headstart is its support for the Web Standards Project's
Acid2, a test page designed to ensure that browsers conform to standards, Microsoft's
chief software architect Ray Ozzie said on Monday in a statement. An early preview
of IE 8 passed
the Acid2 test back in December.
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of ADTmag.com and news editor of Visual Studio Magazine.