Microsoft announced that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can.
"We think that acting in accordance with principles is important, and IE8’s default is
a demonstration of the interoperability principles in action," said Dean Hachamovitch, IE General Manager.
Microsoft recently published a set of Interoperability Principles
, aimed at increasing the openness of its products and drive greater
interoperability, opportunity and choice. Following these principles the company decided to have three rendering modes in IE8: the new
standards-compliant mode, the IE7 rendering engine, as well as an
option for displaying older Web sites. Because of the default shift,
Web sites that want IE8 to use its IE7 engine will have to add a tag to
their site's code.
"Each version of each browser has its own Standards
mode, because each version of each browser improves
on its web standards support. There’s Safari 3’s Standards mode,
Firefox 2’s Standards mode, IE6’s Standards mode, and IE7’s Standards
mode, and they’re all different. We want to make IE8’s Standards mode
much, much better than IE7’s Standards mode," said Hachamovitch.
The final version of IE8 is not scheduled yet, but a beta
version of the browser is due out in the first half of the year.