From the IEBlog post:
We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can.
Any site needing IE8 to render in IE7 mode (for whatever reason) need only apply a one-line fix: the
meta version targeting method originally proposed to work the other way around (or the HTTP header equivalent).
In summary, this is the good news, as I see it:
- Developers need do nothing beyond using current standards to get the best standards-compliance from IE8.
IE8 has been significantly enhanced, and was designed with great support for current Internet standards. This is evidenced by the fact that even in its first beta, IE8 correctly renders the popular test known as 'Acid2', which was created by the Web community to promote real-world interoperability [...] Our initial plan had been to use IE7-compatible behavior as the default setting for IE8, to minimize potential impact on the world's existing Web sites. We have now decided to make our most current standards-based mode the default in IE8.
And this is the potentially bad:
- Anyone requiring, for some reason, IE8 to behave as IE7 will need to add the
metaswitch or the HTTP header to their code.
- More inconvenience in the short term for anyone supporting legacy documents.
I'm very impressed by Microsoft's move, and hope that it doesn't somehow get overruled or watered-down before IE8 is released.
(*I can honestly say that I never thought I'd write that - "never say 'never'", I guess!)