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Why Internet Explorer 8 might not pass the Acid2 test

Acid2 failOne of the most exciting features we were expecting from Internet Explorer 8 was compliance with web standards. Months ago, Microsoft announced that IE8 would render the Acid2 test properly. So imagine our disappointment when we installed IE8 beta 1 today only to get an image that looks like the one to the right.

Unperturbed, we tried again later, and the second time was a charm. IE8 passed the Acid2 test with flying colors. So what was the difference between attempt 1 and attempt 2?

The second time, we went to the official Acid2 test page. The first time we had gone to another site that was hosting a copy of the original test. While you'd think that a web browser that's capable of rendering one page properly should be able to handle the same content on another page, the folks at Microsoft's IEBlog point out that IE8 performs a cross-domain security check for ActiveX controls which will prevent it from passing the Acid2 test on any page but the official one.

So there you go, Internet Explorer 8 is standards compliant. Under the right circumstances.

Tags: acid2, ie8, internet-explorer-8