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Internet Explorer 8 will support web standards by default

Back in January, Microsoft caused quite a stir when they announced that the default behavior of Internet Explorer 8 would be to render web pages the same way as they are rendered in IE 7. The problem with this? One of IE 8's most touted features is its web standards compliance and its passing of the Acid2 test. However, web developers and standards advocates were miffed at the idea that rendering the "correct" way would require an additional line of code.

Well, it looks like Microsoft is listening. Yesterday they announced that the default browser behavior will be to render according to standards. If sites want to render in the "quirks" mode (thus, look the same as it would look in IE 7), the site maintainers will need to add in a line of code to reflect that.

The rationale from the original decision stems from the problems Microsoft had when migrating from IE 6 to IE 7. IE 7 had to sacrifice standards compliance in order to deal with rendering problems held over from IE 6. Thus, a web page that was built around IE 6's weirdness would look horrendous in IE 7, despite actually being displayed "properly." Thus, Microsoft made the decision to work out a way to render older sites without the appearance of breakage.

By changing course, Microsoft joins other browser makers like Safari, Firefox and Opera is operating with standards compliance out of the box. We have to give Microsoft credit for at least listening to the response from the community.

[via Webware]

Tags: ie8, internet explorer, InternetExplorer, standards, web standards, WebStandards