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Microsoft Makes Standards Mode Default for IE8
Microsoft today announced that, contrary to earlier plans, Internet Explorer 8 would default to its most standards compliant rendering mode. Early reports from the company’s Internet Explorer team stated that IE8 would default to a rendering mode identical to the standards support of IE7, with support for a meta tag placed in the header of the web’s source that could switch standards mode on. Now, plans have been reversed, with the engine’s most standards complient mode on for all web pages, and legacy support available for those who wish to avoid having to troubleshoot bugs that may appear in standards mode.
This decision appears to have been made in accordance with recently published Interoperability Principles from the company, in a push to become more standards friendly (see section II.) According to Internet Explorer’s General Manager Dean Hachamovitch,
Microsoft recently published a set of Interoperability Principles. Thinking about IE8’s behavior with these principles in mind, interpreting web content in the most standards compliant way possible is a better thing to do.
We think that acting in accordance with principles is important, and IE8’s default is a demonstration of the interoperability principles in action. While we do not believe any current legal requirements would dictate which rendering mode a browser must use, this step clearly removes this question as a potential legal and regulatory issue. As stated above, we think it’s the better choice.
A public beta of Internet Explorer 8 is expected to be released later this month.
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