Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles and IE8

We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously.

Why Change?

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.

The rest of this blog post provides context around the different modes, the technical challenge, and what it means going forward.


Clear terminology around the different modes in IE8 (as well as other browsers) is crucial for the discussion. Wikipedia, as usual, offers a good starting point. The article about “Quirks mode” describes how modern browsers (like IE, Firefox, Safari, and Opera) all have different modes for interpreting the content of a web page: Quirks and Standards. (The article also covers “Almost Standards;” let’s set that one aside for the purpose of this discussion.)

Basically, all the browsers have a “Quirks” mode, call it “Quirks mode", and use it to offer compatibility with pages that pre-date modern standards. All browsers have a “Standards” mode, call it “Standards mode,” and use it to offer a browser’s best implementation of web standards. 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.

The Wikipedia article’s explanation of why browsers have modes to begin with is worth looking at closely in this context:

"...the large body of legacy documents which rely on the quirks of older browsers represents an obstacle for browser developers, who wish to improve their support for standardized HTML and CSS, but also wish to maintain backward compatibility with older, non-standardized pages.… To maintain compatibility with the greatest possible number of web pages, modern web browsers are generally developed with multiple rendering modes: in "standards mode" pages are rendered according to the HTML and CSS specifications, while in "quirks mode" attempts are made to emulate the behavior of older browsers."

We decided to keep IE7’s Standards mode available in IE8. Our thinking was that this facility would be helpful as the web moves gradually from the large quantity of legacy content authored around IE7’s behaviors to a new era of much more interoperable and web standards compliant browsers. We based the decision to have an additional mode in IE8 on our experience with feedback from IE7. Specifically, during the transition from IE6 to IE7, many end-users found pages authored for the previous IE version’s Standards mode didn’t work well with the new version’s Standards mode.

The Technical Challenge

One issue we heard repeatedly during the IE7 beta concerned sites that looked fine in IE6 but looked bad in IE7. The reason was that the sites had worked around IE6 issues with content that – when viewed with IE7’s improved Standards mode – looked bad.

As we started work on IE8, we thought that the same thing would happen in the short term: when a site hands IE8 content and asks for Standards mode, that content would expect IE7’s Standards mode and not appear or function correctly. 

In other words, the technical challenge here is how can IE determine whether a site’s content expects IE8’s Standards mode or IE7’s Standards mode? Given how many sites offer IE very different content today, which should IE8 default to?

Our initial thinking for IE8 involved showing pages requesting “Standards” mode in an IE7’s “Standards” mode, and requiring developers to ask for IE8’s actual “Standards” mode separately. We made this decision, informed by discussions with some leading web experts, with compatibility at the top of mind.

In light of the Interoperability Principles, as well as feedback from the community, we’re choosing differently. Now, IE8 will show pages requesting “Standards” mode in IE8’s Standards mode. Developers who want their pages shown using IE8’s “IE7 Standards mode” will need to request that explicitly (using the http header/meta tag approach described here).

Going Forward

Long term, we believe this is the right thing for the web. Shorter term, leading up not just to IE8’s release but broader IE8 adoption, this choice creates a clear call to action to site developers to make sure their web content works well in IE. This topic is one of many things we’ll talk about with respect to IE8 at MIX this week.


Dean Hachamovitch
General Manager
Internet Explorer

P.S. For further information on today's announcement, please go to the news release on our PressPass site.

Comments (650)
  1. Larry says:

    That’s great. When will you support alpha transparency in PNG?

  2. Rijk says:

    Thanks, on behalve of the forward-looking web 🙂

  3. Eric Eggert says:

    Thank you.

    Larry: you’re kidding, alpha transparency is supported since IE7.

  4. QuirksBlog says:

    Just now the IE team announced that it’s reversing its policy on the default behaviour of IE8, which shows that it has been paying close attention to the discussion of its versioning proposal. I admit that I hadn’t expected this reversal, but I welcome

  5. Alex Hillman says:

    Oh, happy day. I appreciate that you not only listened, but reacted. Wonderful news.

  6. IE8 will act like IE8, not IE7. We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the

  7. Tom Morris says:

    Excellent news!

    Any chance IE8 will support application/xhtml+xml MIME type while we are at it?

  8. Jonathan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for listening!

  9. Ian says:


    Thanks, and thanks for listening.

  10. good decision. i suspect it was not an easy one for you, but it will help us all keep progressing forward.


  11. Rick Curran says:

    Hi, that is awesome news! I don’t think I expected it to happen so I am very pleasantly surprised!

  12. Grey says:

    Two words: Thank you.

    Thank you for listening, thank you for giving the web a chance. Thanks for changing focus. I think this just made my day.

  13. Thank you for listening to the community on this one.  I’m glad that I won’t have to provide specific instructions to support standards in IE8.

  14. From Dean H. over on the IE Blog : One issue we heard repeatedly during the IE7 beta concerned sites

  15. Jerome Lapointe says:

    I applaud you guys. Thank you for listening to the community… really. I feel more and more like there’s a change in certain areas of Microsoft.

    Now we can have our customer support push IE users people to upgrade to IE8. (And not keep telling people to install Firefox)

  16. It feels like sunshine shining down. Thanks for listening.

  17. Thank you! Glad to see a new side of Microsoft listening to the community. Standards are the future.

  18. PilotBob says:

    Much better choice. This is exactally how I would expect it to work. And was wondering why all the pandering. The standards mode should always be the default. Previous rendering modes/engines should have to be specified by the html in some way.



  19. James says:

    So IE8 will deliberately break certain Web pages in an attempt to ward off legal liability. This is unfortunate, but probably the best that could be expected given the current legal climate. What I don’t understand is why some people think this is somehow "better."

  20. Adam W says:

    I am incredibly happy to see Microsoft actually taking a sane approach to supporting standards, and listening to developers feedback.  

    It seems like Microsoft hasn’t given me much to praise in a while, and I hope this is a beginning to a new trend.

  21. Karellen says:

    Wow! Thankyou thankyou thankyou!

  22. Jeremy Keith says:

    I just want to add my voice to the chorus of thanks: thank you for listening to the community.

  23. Jason Cox says:

    Good to hear, I liked IE8 before and I like it even better now.

  24. Justin says:

    It just shows that Microsoft is a huge company regardless of certain evidence to the contrary, there are a large number of developers working there who are as dedicated to the greater-good of technology as anyone. I’ve always felt the IE team’s goals were in the right place and I’m more than happy to be justified in that belief. Now if we can just get webdav support back in IE… (there’s always an if, isn’t there?).

  25. Riddle says:

    Thanks for doing the right thing. 🙂

  26. Ryan Merket says:

    From the bottom of my heart: "THANK YOU".


  27. Chris says:

    Bravo!  I applaud your eagerness to learn, grow, and adapt.  IE is now becoming no longer an enemy/annoyance to designers but a welcome addition to the choices in web browsers.

  28. I am genuinely surprised by this announcement, this is fantastic news.


  29. Sander says:

    Thanks for listening.

    I hope you can also get away with not freezing rendering engine versions at all in the future, so that content="IE=8" will be exactly the same as content="IE=9" and so forth, and that there will really be just one version of the web.

    But I guess that will be mostly up to us web devs. I hope we’ll be up to the task.

  30. Bryan says:

    I have to say kudos to the IE Team for listening to the web community.  I’m not an IE user, but I still care about IE’s development, since the majority of the world uses it.

  31. thacker says:

    Thank you very much.

    Looks like, now, that you [IE team] can stash away those Groucho Marx eyeglass disguises as you walk out into the campus parking lot.

  32. Gyrobo says:

    I LIKE that answer, Dean. I like it a lot.

  33. Great news! Thanks for making this very important change!

  34. this is good to hear, it will make for a happier SxSw this weekend, and also as a standardista web developer I think any other tactics apart from this way is the correct way for the future of IE and your web browser share

  35. Hey, that is great.  I have criticized IE before, but let me offer the team my praise for doing the right thing here.

  36. Asbjørn says:

    Great! You really are listening, then. That’s a good sign. Keep up the good work and let’s get rid of IE6 together. IE8 sound great so far.

  37. nemo says:

    Thank you oh so much.

    I’m still going to leave that silly IE=edge flag active on the servers and applications under my control for a little while longer, but really, excellent news.

  38. Hostile Monkey says:

    Awesome. Now make sure you KEEP LISTENING.

    We’ll sure as hell KEEP WATCHING.

    Wascawy wabbits.

  39. Dude! says:

    How about cats+dogs MIME support plz.

  40. Great to hear about your standards approach! Looking forward to users having browser choice without developer pain.

  41. Nate says:

    Seriously, thank you. I hope this is the result of someone at MS actually starting to care, and that this is not just a PR stunt to shout "MS cares about standards!", or to avoid more lawsuits. I think you still have a little ways to go to prove to me that this is the first step towards many great changes, but this is a giant leap of a first step.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  42. You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from

  43. This is great news!  Thanks!

    Now, I’m going to continue to cross my fingers and wait for MIX08 news on the IE8 standards support…

  44. Ruth says:

    From a cleanliness/elegance point of view, I applaud this decision.  But from a practical point of view, it must be recognized that IE8 will indeed break sites designed around IE7’s standards mode if those sites are not updated to either explicitly request IE7 standards mode or to work with IE8 by default (and gracefully downgrade the experience for IE7).  

    There will be sites that aren’t updated to do either (maybe the web devs are no longer available, or whatever), and these sites will break on IE8.  So I would request that IE8 provide a way for the user to request that a page be rendered via IE7’s standards mode.  So if an IE8 user visits a site that has not been updated to explicitly request IE7 standards mode and sees that the site looks like crap, she can click a button to rerender the site in IE7 standards mode.

    Most of the respondents here are web devs that couldn’t care less about breaking old sites, but users will indeed care.

  45. Doug says:

    That’s good news.  Credit where it’s due – well done, IE folks.

  46. Peter Kasting says:

    Thanks for biting the bullet on this one.  I appreciate that the IE team listens to feedback.

  47. Only fools don’t change their mind. I’m glad you did. Thanks.

  48. Adriano says:

    I second and third the comments stating that this is a positive move for Microsoft, the Web and caffeine-addicted Web Developers.

    Maybe you should post one of those monkey dance videos of Steve Ballmer shouting "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

    Go on, let’s celebrate good times!

  49. Kevin Peno says:

    Thank god. I was not looking forward to being required to use a special meta/header just to be able to use the correct version of standards mode (correct being better anyway). This is a smart move on your part and I’m glad you came around!

  50. Catto says:

    Hey Now IE8,

    I along with everyone sure is looking forward to this browser.

    Thx 4 the info,


  51. Garry Trinder says:

    Many of us are behind you 100%

  52. toby johnson says:

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you! This blog post has single-handedly restored my faith in Microsoft. 🙂

    It’s one thing to publish a set of interoperability principles, and it’s quite another to put your money where your mouth is and actually follow them even when that decision may mean some short-term pain. Kudos.

  53. Kevin Peno says:

    "So I would request that IE8 provide a way for the user to request that a page be rendered via IE7’s standards mode.  So if an IE8 user visits a site that has not been updated to explicitly request IE7 standards mode and sees that the site looks like crap, she can click a button to rerender the site in IE7 standards mode.

    Most of the respondents here are web devs that couldn’t care less about breaking old sites, but users will indeed care."

    While I agree with you here, do you really think that the typical computer user is going to know that they A) need to turn on IE7 mode through some trigger, and B) will even know that this exists? Most are just going to leave the page or accept it as if it were meant to be that way.

    No matter which way the developers go here, there’s always someone that loses out. The meta tag "switch" is a good idea (much better than the stupid xml prolog to kick in quirks…my god) and even the most undereducated of developers can add this in with ease. My opinion is that it is the lesser of 2 evils.

    Also, if we require the meta/header trick for this version, it would likely become the requirement to "flip the switch" on all future versions of IE. Using it as a BC tool? I love that idea (now and future).

  54. Eduardo Valencia says:

    Thank you Microsofttttttttttttttttttttttttt! Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! keep up the good work!

  55. Neil Ford says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for listening – this is excellent news.

  56. Eduardo Valencia says:

    Now we need a faster pos-developing and bug fixing,perhaps this is the beginning of a more active IE Team?

  57. simplex says:

    I can’t wait to gouge my eyes while correcting a whole new set of flaws in yet another IE.

    Thanks Microsoft & the IE team!

  58. Chris says:

    I preferred the previous way of handling this – this is a case of either favouring customers or developers.  With this new change, customers lose out since there is a lot more broken on the web, developers lose since they have to pay more money to make sure sites work with IE8.  Browser competitors win since IE takes another compatibility hit.

    And just remember there are far more customers than developers out there.  Does MS ever think that the OSS advocates are driving these kind of changes so that MS loses ground?  Just look at the negative press on vista, and its a terrific OS.  Look at OOXML and the negative press surrounding that, I sure hope that MS doesn’t give more into what really is a false perception.

  59. Nathan says:

    Thank you IE team, you have just earned yourselves a great deal of respect from the standards community, you have made the right decision and commend you. This certainly beats my previous position wherein I was preparing to drop support for IE completely.

    Thank you for listening to the community.


  60. AC says:

    As one of the critics of the former decision, a big thank you! Hopefully you’ll continue to listen to feedback.

  61. Morten says:

    Thanks! I understand this must have been a tough decision. I can’t even imagine what problems that this will cause to all the existing websites and what a big testing effort it will create for the web developers.

    However this is less messy and the best way to get things set straight again. It will be a tough transition that might cause even more people to move away from IE, but we really need this done sooner rather than later. A few years down the road we will all gain from it.

  62. Neal says:

    There is a god! Thank you so much IE team you guys rock! Despite what others have said, you guys truly do care about web standards. I’m sure there will still be naysayers but stick with it.

  63. Duncan Lock says:

    This is excellent news! A seemingly rare example of Microsoft doing The Right Thing – hopefully the start of a trend 🙂

    You’ve really made my day – thanks for listening!

  64. Justin says:

    This is great news!  I fully support this change of default behavior to encourage better interoperability.  I think it is a very good idea to default to latest standards, otherwise IE11 will still be defaulting to IE7 mode for compatibility.  Pages can still explicitly ask for IE7 compatibility if it is necessary.  I am very glad to see that the IE team has responded to the developer communities concerns and changed its mind.

  65. Justin Taylor says:

    Excellent work Dean. congratulations to you and the IE8 team, you’ve made the right choice and made the lives of web developers around the world much easier!

  66. Neal says:

    I think this is the most praise I’ve ever seen on the IEBlog. Let’s see if Slashdot is as forgiving…lol!

  67. GoodThings2Life says:

    This is a great start, but why not stop calling it "Super Standards" mode and stop requiring extra steps in our code to use it?

    This is easy:

    STANDARDS MODE = Web Standards Compliant

    QUIRKS MODE = NON Web Standards Compliant, meaning IE7, IE6, IE5, IE4, etc etc etc etc etc.

  68. Stephen Preston says:

    This is fantastic news! The Internet Explorer Team is in the unenviable position of being the market leader, and I’m sure this decision took a hell of a lot of meetings and memos to come to this conclusion. With Silverlight and .NET coming to fruition soon, I’m looking forward to seeing what Microsoft and the IE team have in store for the web in the next decade. Bravo on making the right decision, I can’t wait to use Beta 1!

  69. Stephen Preston says:


    I don’t care if it’s called Super Dooper Hyper Standards Mode II Turbo Edition, just as long as it’s on by default.

  70. Scott G says:

    I would like to better interoperate with MSIE and this change will make it easier to develop cross-platform much more simply sometime down the road. Thanks for reversing the original decision.


  71. jun says:

    Here’s a new Interoperability Principle for you: make the thing capable of being installed standalone.  Don’t integrate it into the browser like some sort of spinal cord.  You’ll still be able to let your big-buck company friends like Adobe call the browser through some library.  You don’t have to make IE8 an integral part of Windows to have it usable in other programs.

  72. Peter says:

    No, seriously, when are you going to support alpha on PNG files?  Every time I try it, it almost works, but then it doesn’t.

    For example, it doesn’t print correctly.  What I expect is something that looks like the screen.  What I get is an opaque blob.

  73. rey says:

    Why don’t you make your own doctype?  That way all the Microsoft fan-boys can just use your IE-specific doctype, and IE will know to display the page as crap, and everyone who hates IE can use a real doctype and get real standards mode?

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//Microsoft//IE-Spagetti-Code//MSIE"


  74. rey says:

    or maybe just




  75. Will says:

    Way to just start catching up with everybody else as of last year, guys!

  76. Yak says:

    Hey, I don’t understand why this is so hard to overcome. Just ask developers to add a meta that tells IE8 how they are suppose to render the page and pack IE8 with the render engines of IE6 and 7… thats how you solve it.

    Yes, it maybe a pain in the ass to developers to add this meta info on every page… but I am sure it will be easier that to hack the whole thing.

  77. jun says:

    "I am incredibly happy to see Microsoft actually taking a sane approach to supporting standards, and listening to developers feedback."

    You’re assuming their IE8 standards mode will work…..but that’s a big assumption.

  78. Xepol says:

    Thank you.

    This might finally let us all slowly dig out of the morass of the past.  True, there is going to be some short term pain, but we aren’t talking a make or break proposition here.  Older pages will still load, even if they look a little funny – but chances are if they have enough viewers to matter, they will be fixed sooner than later.  If they are never fixed, chances are that if the author does not care, neither will the viewers (if any exist-  the web is partly a huge dead letter office)

    Thank for again.  In the long run, it is the right choice.

  79. Peter Blakeley says:

    Welcome to the 21st Century, this will save my clients money and speed up website creation.

    Of course I will not be celebrating until it is actually delivered.

  80. MWTE says:

    Another step forward. Well done.

  81. Alan Hogan says:

    Standards by default will increase the proportion of future documents written to standards (instead of IE quirks/proprietary). This is indeed good news.

  82. DavidONE says:

    Dean, and all involved – thanks for listening.  This is a great move for standards.

  83. DavidONE says:

    Dean, and all involved – thanks for listening.  This is a great move for standards and ultimately IE.

  84. Al Billings says:

    I’m glad to see that the final decision is the right decision. I’m not sure that I buy that it was legality issues (the Opera lawsuit?) and not the universal condemnation of web developers for the previous decision but whatever… It is still the right decision.

  85. daGUY says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! As someone who makes a living doing web design, I have been waiting for this day for years. I will *finally* be able to code without having to come up with 800 different workarounds to make things look correct in IE.

    I’m extremely pleased and surprised that you guys actually listened and reversed a major decision like this. This is the right thing to do. Some sites will break in the short term, but in the long term, this is the right decision. And besides, if someone has a huge site coded around IE7, and they don’t have the time or money to convert it to real standards, they can just use the meta tag to trigger IE7 rendering. Problem solved.

    Thank you again!

  86. Danny says:

    Thanks — that seems to be the right thing to do.

  87. Kelson says:

    I’m  very glad to hear this!

    Among other things, this means that progressive enhancement will actually work with IE8.

  88. jun says:

    If IE7 had been standards compliant this issue wouldn’t exist.  Just think, if you get IE8 right, you won’t have to worry about this junk for IE9. And if you get IE to where it isn’t embedded like a virus in the operating system, maybe people will stop hating your company.

  89. Devon Young says:

    Thank you for throwing your weight in the right direction.

  90. The IE team never fails to impress and amaze me. I had great faith that you would make this decision!

    Way to go, IE Team! You have once again made one young software developer very happy!

  91. Brian LePore says:

    You guys should have held off on this announcement for another week. Then I could feel like it was a birthday present. 🙂 The previous announcement that there even was going to be an IE8 felt like a Christmas present.

    Keep the meta/http header as an option, just keep the default to what you say here. I was originally leaning towards your old default being the superior mode, but then it was pointed out that it was intranets that needed it the most and they’re the ones that can use the HTTP headers the easiest.

  92. Brian says:

    This is HUGE.  Thank you so much!  I have been avoiding Microsoft technologies in my web work for many years (on principle, not raw technological potential), and this goes a very long way towards growing trust.

  93. I’ve said some time ago that I personally would have preferred if IE8 was in standard mode by default

  94. matt says:

    IE7 was a baby step; I really hope IE8 is the web standards magic bullet we’ve been waiting for.

  95. dw says:

    Thank you for getting some sense about all of this.

    Now, make IE8 something we can all be proud of.

  96. Anonymous says:


    I don’t think anybody at Microsoft has ever used the term "super standards" mode in the first place.  They mentioned IE8 standards, IE7 standards or IE7 strict, and Quirks.

  97. odrzut says:

    It’s also good for microsoft, at least in long term.

    If ie8 will be vista-only, and if most web sites will be standards-compliant, people will have one more reason to upgrade to vista. (If they don’t just stay at xp and switch ie to firefox/opera, that is 🙂 )

    Still, gratulations, that was The Right Thing ™.

  98. Beau says:

    Wow, that’s wonderful news. Thanks so much IE Team! It’s exciting to see people thinking about the web, and while I can see the logic for the previous method (IE 8 behaving like IE 7 unless specified), this is far more standards-centric!

  99. sonicdoommario says:

    Wait, can someone answer this question for me?

    I’m no web developer, but does this mean IE8 will be in standards mode and NOT IE7’s mode by default? Does this mean it will be able to pass Acid2 without a hack to opt in? So when I upgrade to IE8 Beta, I’ll be able to see that happy face by default?

    If this is true, then congrats MS, you have done the right thing.

  100. Ens says:


    Yes, that’s exactly what it means.

  101. Jonathan says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  102. wekempf says:

    Haven’t read all the comments, so don’t know if anyone else brought this up, but strictly as stated here I have to disagree with a lot of the comments.  This isn’t, yet, "the right thing."  You’ve swung the pendulum from pro-user, anti-developer to anti-user, pro-developer.  That decision isn’t better, it’s just a different evil.

    Give the user some control.  Allow a global setting to choose which mode is the default, then default that setting to standards mode.  In addition, give the user some way to override this global setting on a page and/or site level.  The meta flag provided by a page should always override both of these.  This is the only way you can be both pro-standards and not "break the web".

  103. nemo says:

    I know this might sound a little embarrassing, but some people here have complained about breaking old sites.  Personally, I like to think any sites that supported IE7 are already written by people smart enough to take IE8 into account – but perhaps IE8 could take the route of Safari and Opera and use a different User Agent string.

    Instead of MSIE use "Microsoft Internet Explorer"

    and include the string "like Gecko"

    Waddaya think?

  104. Andyman says:

    You knew it was the right thing to do…

    KUDOS to the IE8 team, the web will be a better place.

    Now you really need to do some insane evangelism to make sure everyone can expect this!

  105. congrats on making a great decision! I get more and more excited about IE every version! keep up the great work!

  106. nemo says:

    oh. and as well as the UA tweak, don’t match the generic IE condcom when in standards mode.

  107. Bruno says:

    "Give the user some control.  Allow a global setting to choose which mode is the default, then default that setting to standards mode."

    Knowing Microsoft, there’s probably already a registry setting indicating whether to default to standards mode or not.

    "In addition, give the user some way to override this global setting on a page and/or site level.  The meta flag provided by a page should always override both of these.  This is the only way you can be both pro-standards and not "break the web"."

    Agreed. 🙂

  108. Hello all,

    I’m very happy Microsoft and its IE dev. team made this decision… a rather unexpected decision too. Thank you for listening and understanding.

    Best regards,

    Gérard Talbot

  109. Richard says:

    Bravo!  I was one of the man web designers who had some issues with the previously announced approach, and I think this is truly the right decision.  Thanks for being so open to feedback from the community, and I look forward to the beta of IE8.

  110. Ben Buchanan says:

    I truly never thought I’d see the day that the original proposal would be reversed, but here it is and I applaud whole-heartedly.

    Thank you so very much for listening and responding to the criticism so many of us had for the plan as proposed. Switching the default changes X-UA-Compatible from an imposition to a safety net, which is a fantastic move.

  111. Josh the Nerd says:

    So, what exactly happens to IE7’s "quirks mode"?

  112. Dave says:

    I love that my site renders just great under quirks mode – no need to mess with this BS everytime a new release comes out – it just works.

  113. Daniel Sterling says:

    wonderful news, thank you IE team!

  114. asking nicely says:

    Can we get the old style border box model in standards compliant mode thanks, it’s much more intuitive.


  115. 杨正祎 says:


    It’s mean many pages looked fine in IE7,will looked bad in IE8?

  116. producerism says:

    thank you for adhering to standards.

    there are some things you can take your own path on…  rendering HTML and CSS should not be one of them  🙂

  117. BryanSD says:

    Thank you for this decision.  All is right in the IT world, once again.

  118. Rob says:

    Hey!  Let’s not forget who and what created "quirks mode".  It’s Microsoft’s error that this had been foisted upon us.  Other browsers had to duplicate this error due to Microsoft’s monopoly of the desktop.  Don’t compare this MS screw up with anything other browsers do or any de facto "standard".

    And let’s not make web sites work with IE as requested above.  Let’s make web sites work with the standards, as it should be.  It’s Microsoft’s responsibility and duty to comply with the standard and not ours.  

    Dean, quit pushing your work off on us.  It’s YOUR fault, Microsoft’s fault, that all this happened.  Fix your own problems.  It’s your turn to compete in the market place.  Microsoft is losing market share now.  Other companies have lived, and died, by bad past decisions.  Live or die by yours but don’t expect us to go down with the ship.

  119. Ryan says:

    Thank you very much 🙂

    This is definitely a step in the right direction for Microsoft and will hopefully bring Internet Explorer near to the standard of other browsers.

  120. Tyler D says:

    This is good news, as it means that there should be less "IE Hacks" in CSS, for example.  Also, by providing better support for things such as alpha transparency, IE8 can help with the integration of the Desktop and Web experiences.

    Supporting standards will also help IE in the long run – not having to worry about backwards compatibility and legacy rendering modes will mean that IE9 or IE10 shouldn’t have much of a need for an IE8 mode – reducing complexity.

  121. Phil says:

    @Rob: Get a clue.  

    Netscape and Microsoft and bit players all "created quirks" as they rushed to add functionality during the so-called "Browser wars."  Blaming Quirks on Microsoft is absurd.

  122. @Rob,

     We could be mature here. It looks like they are trying to get back on track; the least we can do is applaud any positive steps they make.

  123. Mark Sowul says:

    Thank goodness.  It probably won’t be nearly as big a problem as it was with IE6->7 because IE6’s so-called "standards" mode was a total joke, whereas IE7 is a lot better-that is, as far as it would affect most sites I would guess the difference between IE6 and 7 in standards mode is a lot greater than that between 7 and 8.

  124. Speednet says:

    This is music to my ears!  I have recently been doing some development for Safari 3.0 (which already supports most of what we’ll see in IE8), and I can tell you it’s going to be fun to be a web developer.

    I am anxiously awaiting more details about exactly which standards will be supported.  I’m sure this is still a work in progress, but if you can keep blogging about features whenever you can, I for one will be grateful.

    Thanks for much for listening!!!!

  125. Thanks. I and many other web developers really appreciate this.

    There have been some really positive things coming out of Microsoft, some of them resulting from feedback on this blog, improved standards conformance and this (to name 2). Keep up the good work.

  126. Kit Grose says:

    On behalf of all web developers everywhere; thank you.

    IE8 represents a massive turning point in the level of standards compliance on the web, and now every Internet user will be able to reap the benefits of the standards compliant web.

    Thank you so, so much for listening to us on this; it bodes amazingly well for IE going forward.

  127. sirshannon says:

    With software used by as many people as IE, there are no easy decisions and possibly no "right" decisions but I think this is the best decision.

    Thank you.

  128. Eevee says:

    I really wish that you could just come out and say that you’re not doing something because nobody likes it.

    Regardless, though, thank you very much for finally helping to fix the Web.

    Now about DOM, SVG, MathML…

  129. TMaster says:


    When I read about the way IE8 would choose between its rendering modes, I was quite disappointed. I definitely didn’t expect you to revert that decision.

    But you have, and I’m REALLY glad about that. You’re doing the right thing, now. Kudos!

    Let’s hope IE8 will be a much bigger improvement over its predecessor than IE7 already was. Let’s also hope one of the lesser-compatible modes (probably "v7 compatibility mode") will be removed in the years to come.

    (On a sidenote, I’m still hoping you’ll fix this rather severe bug, preferably for both IE7 and IE8: )

  130. Drew says:

    Thank you so much! This is definately the way to go.

  131. Laurent says:

    Well, thank you! That great new for any Web Developper. If Standard mode is as good as you say it is, IE8 is gonna be a good one. Any plan for xhtml+xml? Not very important, but still ^^.

  132. Steve says:

    Just make it not suck… that’s all I ask.

  133. William says:

    This is a good day for the internet.

  134. Matt says:

    THANK YOU Microsoft. On behalf of Web Application Developers everywhere…

  135. Oliver says:

    I’m amazed and impressed.  Thank you for doing the right thing.

  136. Vernon W says:

    As a web application developer committed to web standards, I’d like to join and add a thank you to Microsoft for this move.  It’s nice to know that MS listens to all those of us who asked for this, and I’m sure a lot of effort was spent on convincing the higher ups that this was the right thing to do.  Well done!

  137. jah says:

    wow, was it the legal action raised by opera? or the ones you’ve lost in the UE council?

    I would cheer the move, if only it had been done for the right reasons (listening to developers worldwide instead of huh, lawyers).

    And tbh, i’m really suspicious of IE8. IE7 was going to be all about standards as well, and in the end… well, it wasn’t.

    I’ll believe it when I see it 🙂

    oh and don’t take me wrong, if there’s one thing that would ease the pain out of my job, that thing would be a functional, standards compliant, reliable browser from microsoft.

    suprise me please.


  138. liquidpele says:

    Just wanted to say one thing.

    Almost every site I’ve seen (both internal intranet and internet) are either IE6 only (even break with IE7), or work with everything.

    I really think you’re overestimating the amount of sites designed to work with IE7 explicitly. In other words, I agree with this new decision, and I look forward to IE8!

  139. Mike MacCana says:

    Great news! I’m not normally a fan of Microsoft technology but this is a positive move for everyone.

  140. Starks the Fiery Kitsune says:

    Congrats IE Team. You’ve (somewhat) redeemed yourselves.

  141. Dr. D. says:

    Seeing as you’re the ones who kept web suckage on high in order to protect the Windows platform, it’s about time the peoples representatives forced you to back down.

  142. Dan Juliano says:

    Hooray! Yippeee!  Thank you thank you thank you!

    This is the greatest news I’ve heard in years, literally.  I can’t count the number of hours I’ve spent hacking CSS up to get things to look right in IE.  It’s great to know that in a couple of years time, that may all just be bad memories.  Thanks again!

  143. Me says:

    I might of said a few things over the years, and you might have said a few things indirectly back with your posts.

    But if you are really really really going to be doing this.

    I will say thank you.

  144. All I have to say is…. its about time.

  145. Rob says:

    Ok.  Thanks Microsoft for a browser that will do the….best….it….can….with web standards.  How "best it can" is that?

  146. goodwitch says:

    Wow!  Thank you for listening, thinking, and deciding to go with principles.  Web standards is the key to equal access to the web for all.

    That’s one small meta for quirks, one giant leap for web standards!

  147. C’mon, for real? Wow 🙂

    I am scared of tomorrows news: ”Microsoft’s IEBlog got hacked” 😀

  148. toby johnson says:

    @Phil: "Netscape and Microsoft and bit players all "created quirks" as they rushed to add functionality during the so-called "Browser wars."  Blaming Quirks on Microsoft is absurd."

    People don’t blame Microsoft because they participated in the Browser Wars. People blame Microsoft because, once they "won", they sat on IE6 for FIVE YEARS without making fixes to its broken rendering engine.

    IE7 wouldn’t have even been available on Windows XP if it weren’t for Firefox. Microsoft were perfectly happy to irresponsibly sit on their laurels while millions of poorly-written web pages were designed for a browser and not for standards.

    As the cliche goes.. "with great power comes great responsibility". Microsoft acted irresponsibly with their market-leading position and it’s why we are where we are today. I truly applaud this decision and think/hope it is a turning point not only for Microsoft as a company but for the web in general. Let’s hope they follow through.

  149. Peter says:

    Thank you so much. You have made my day!

  150. Nate says:

    To everybody complaining about how this will break pages written for IE6/7, how hard is it? You can start adding the "render as IE7" meta tag to your stuff now, many months before IE8 even comes out as something more than a beta. This doesn’t hurt users at all; at least, not for sites that have webmonkeys who know what they’re doing. This change only has a negative impact on developers who are either too lazy or just plain incompetent.

    Supporting "backwards compatibility" for a broken system is not a good thing. Far better off causing some initial headaches, and then finding ourselves on greener grass on the other side.

    Once again, thanks MS.

  151. james sinks says:

    Dean, thank you for this post, and thanks to you and the rest of the IE team for doing this the right way.

  152. I will swear up and down when IE8 comes out and I need to support three versions of IE, two of Firefox, Safari, and maybe Opera.

    But!  I will be terribly terribly happy in 2 or 3 years when IE9 comes out and I don’t need to worry as much 🙂

    Must have been tough to change your minds.  Great job.

  153. Jordan says:

    bold move, and it only took you till 2008

  154. Nert says:

    Finally, compliance for all the web developers who have been forced to write ridiculous code in order to get a page to view correctly in IE.

    The 800lb. Gorilla needed this.

  155. Woah, awesome! This is great news! Thank you for listening to the community and choosing to do the right thing.

    I looks like Internet Explorer may be able to come out of the stone ages and become on par with other modern browsers, like Opera and those based on Gecko or Webkit. Internet Explorer 8 is looking very exciting now.

  156. Jay says:

    As a budding web designer, I am so excited to hear  about this.

    Today, the biggest barrier to innovative and exciting web design,is the incredible amount of negative energy and wasted time to produce a web site that will render on the most common browsers.

    As someone once put it: "the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from". Well, that is not so great if you are trying to create a good web site.

    Hopefully, this multiple standards mentality  will soon be a thing of the past.

  157. Brian T. says:


    Let me add my voice to the long list: thank you for doing the right thing.

    In my mind this single announcement gives IE a reason to continue to exist. I am anxious to hear about more specific standard compliance.

    Again, thank you.

  158. Ted Henry says:

    Thanks for listening (even if we did have to scream!) and for making the right decision.

  159. aoeu says:

    Thank you! This is great news indeed!

  160. VM says:

    Great Decision indeed !!!!!!

    Kudos to IE8 team to not just think but act differently from the past.

  161. Wow, nice.

    Maybe we might even be moving towards that silence in the office where my designers won’t be whinging about IE, hahaha.

    Good move, guys.

    *high five*

  162. Jo says:

    I am SO glad you guys finally saw the standards-compliant light! =)

  163. Vincent says:


    Thanks to you guys, I’ll be able to deal with ONE standard when creating web applications.  This is GREAT news.  I believe this is the greatest move Microsoft has ever done on the web.

    Kudos and may you keep it up!


  164. Matthew Raymond says:

    Microsoft had to switch to using IE8 rendering for standards mode documents. With IE7 rendering as the default, ignorance of the meta switch works against Microsoft, because ignorant developers would design pages that work in either only IE7 or in standards-compliant competitors’ browsers + IE7, but don’t use IE8’s rendering mode. This results in IE8+ being marginalized as competitors develop better support for IE7-specific pages.

    With standards as the default, the ignorance works in Microsoft’s favor. People developing according to standards will be forced to check rendering in IE8 unless they know about the switch, and even then they’ll loath to add a proprietary switch just so they can use IE7 hacks. The switch-ignorant developers would have to learn about IE8’s rendering mode to make their pages accessible to a significant number of users. Page breakage actually serves this purpose as well, because web developers will need to learn about IE8 to fix their pages. The result is that IE8 is kept relevant to developers and content remains IE-centric even as it becomes more standards-centric. And all the while, old IE7 content can still be fixed with the flick of a switch.

    Microsoft is neither "doing the right thing" nor bowing to pressure from standards supporters. It simple understands what’s in its best interests.

  165. David Clarke says:

    I imagine there has been some pretty full on brow beating going on behind closed doors (chairs being thrown?). This is great news for the developers of IE who get to show off their new browser in all it’s finery instead of having to throw an old sack over it before pushing it out the door. Congratulations.

  166. Mike says:

    Firefox is standards-compliant too.

  167. Dave Lane says:

    Wow, maybe this will stem the waves of defection to Firefox!  Of course, as most people I know are running Linux or Mac OS X, I guess that’s still irrelevant, but still: great to see Microsoft – for once – recognising that there are good open standards out there (already supported by EVERYBODY else, for years now) and that Microsoft can’t continue to pull the wool over the market’s eyes.

    Despite this small step in the right direction, I’m still doing everything I can to stymie the adoption of MSOOXML as an ISO standard.  Why not just do the same thing in the productivity space and drop this idiotic push to get MSOOXML turned into an ISO standard and instead adopt the existing ISO standard, ODF, and the rest of the existing open standards for stuff like vector graphics (SVG), equations (MathML), etc.?  If MS did *that*, then I’d be impressed.

  168. Vincent says:

    Oh I forgot, is it me or is 2008 really starting to make sense?

    First, we get rid of the HD format war, now we get rid of the WWW rendering war.  What’s next?  The end of the OS war?  Now, that is too much to ask for.


  169. toby johnson says:

    @liquidpele: I agree and thought the same thing when I first read this. My experience is that IE7 is actually closer to the "standards based" browsers such as Firefox and Opera than it is to IE6. It’s not perfect, but I would say it is more than halfway. The biggest part of the pain should be behind us.

  170. Vincent says:

    Dave, please tell me how ODF is superior to MSOOXML?

    I need to understand this.


  171. Ben says:

    This is good news. It is a more "logical" approach, it allows older sites to make use of a metatag to maintain usability until they can be updated, and it pushes standards! Thank you again for listening and re-evaluating the approach.

  172. Troy says:

    Great News.

    For IE8, please re-introduce the option to open browser windows in separate processes.  Currently to kill an IE process gone bad means to kill the parent browser window and all associated child browser windows.  Something I had to do several times a day.  It seems mildly better by switching off the tabs option.

    Also a right-click split tab to new window would be great too.

  173. Out-the-box, and as the default mode! How very welcome is this to users, web designers, and developers

  174. Aphyr says:

    Hey, I just want to throw my voice into the chorus of thanks here: I think you guys are making an awesome decision that will make my life as a developer (and end-user’s experiences) much better! Please keep up the good work, and I look forward to a much better IE.

  175. Shane says:

    I am so glad to hear this. IE7 is a big jump (in the right direction) from IE6 and it sounds like IE8 will finally bring the Microsoft web browser up to the level of it’s current competition. Keep up the good work! Please don’t make decisions based upon poorly written and non-current sites, lets keep everyone moving forward!

  176. …on making an excellent decision.  This marks the first time I’ve been excited for the release of an Internet Explorer browser 🙂

  177. hk says:

    Wow, guess that $1.3 billion dollar fine spooked you more than we thought. Legal and regulatory issues, huh? Pity it took the EU to stand up to one of the worst companies on earth.

    Needless to say, I and everyone I know would have just ignored your ridiculous flaunting of the standards anyway.

    Still, regardless of the thinking behind it, it’s welcome news, so kudos for clawing back a few tenths of a percent of the karma you’ve lost over years of malicious abuse. A few more good deeds like this and anything’s possible – who knows, keep it up and one day you might only be the second most hated company in IT! The sky’s the limit, champ!

  178. Art says:

    Thanks. This is very good news.

  179. David Naylor says:


    I’m almost crying with hapiness here!! It takes some courage to go out and change a decision like that!

  180. Brian C says:

    woohoo!  This is really great news.

  181. Reid says:

    In today’s news, the IE team becomes slightly less touched.  Of course that’s somewhat of a jest, but it’s nice to see some sanity enter this blog.  Though I would have been nice to at least have mentioned the community in the decision making process instead of only mentioning the "Interoperability Principles" published by MS itself.

    Yah, it was all you guys making this decision.  Sure…

  182. "Let’s publicly pretend we’re going to do something stupid so everybody loves us when we change our tune"

    Another flawless marketing strategy. I just wish I had thought of it first

  183. David Lane says:

    @Vincent – it’s superior for the only important reason: it’s already an ISO standard.  

    ODF is also a much tighter, better written standard than OOXML and ODF also incorporates a whole constellation of existing open standards.  MSOOXML invents a whole bunch of new standards (riddled with inconsistencies and holes) rather than building on existing standards.

    Critical "take away" message:

    – multiple implementations of the SAME standard is GOOD for everyone (except incumbent monopolies)

    – multiple standards in the same technical domain is BAD, particularly if one of them is effectively controlled by a single vendor convicted of abusing its monopoly in multiple jurisdictions worldwide (despite the gratuitous and very calculated use of the word "Open" in every possible context).  

    Saying multiple standards in the same domain is a "good" thing is like saying that having the American Standard measurements (pints, gallons, yards, leagues, knots, inches, miles, etc. used only in America) along side the more rational, much more compact and tractable Metric System specification (used pretty much everywhere else in the world) somehow enriches us all.  I submit that it does not.  

    The time and money wasted due to having those two standards for the same thing would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.  And yes, I’m an American.  

  184. John Mclaren says:

    Please make a Linux version. Sadly some website will only run on IE and so exclude Linux users (and Mac users)

  185. Jimmy Smith says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is a huge turning point.

  186. Anonymous says:


    "Yah, it was all you guys making this decision.  Sure…"

    Ummm…who else do you think made the decision?  It wasn’t you.

  187. Bob says:

    Thank you very much. This made my day!

    I hope this move signals a new direction and business philosophy for Microsoft. The world will no longer tolerate predatory corporations who build their businesses on embrace, extend, and extinguish.

    Businesses need to realize that their companies will live or die by public perceptions of their intent, be they good, or evil.

  188. AC says:


    As soon as IE6/7 are forgotten about I can stop pulling my hair out over CSS hacks!!

    I might actually have to duel boot again to try it when it comes out.

    Thank you again.

  189. Noah says:

    I really really hope you guys do a bang up job actually making it work, saying you’re supporting standards and then doing it are different things. You guys have a good team, why not try your darndest to "school" the other browsers, let’s see  a full implementation of all the standardized CSS.

    Oh yeah and put the damn menu bar back at the top of the screen, quit breaking old people’s brains, you spent decades getting them to think that way and then fudged it.

  190. Dave Bacher says:

    Re: One version of the web

    Couple people are talking about this; first, CSS 2.1 never has reached recomendation state (go take a look — its still candidate), and CSS 2.1 was written to address problems in CSS 2.0, which while it made it to recomendation, had serious issues in implementation details.

    CSS 3.0 has had portions make it to recomendation — then get knocked all the way back to working draft due to issues.

    So as far as "one version of the web," you’ll have to get a version of CSS actually through the entire W3C process, other than 1.0, for that to happen.

    Of course, standards like SVG aren’t sitting still, they’re moving targets — and on top of being moving targets, they’re addressing concerns after making recomendation status instead of before it, and often not really addressing the concerns at all.

    On the HTML front, you have HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1 as recomendations, and XHTML 2.0 that is not yet supported by anyone, and may well never be supported by anyone.  Separate to all of this, you have HTML 5.0 going on.

    And then you have the ECMA Script 4.0 effort going on.

    You would think the browser manufacturers would step up, in this whole process, and insist on better mechanisms to identify the specific version(s) and standard(s) to which the page is compliant, and a DTD declaration is insufficient for that purpose, so that future browsers would know the information.

    But FireFox is perfectly content to break rendering, as Opera has been as well, in the interest of supporting working draft standards while still having nonconformances with print media and xml-stylesheet, some of which they actually are discussing displaying error pages for instead of fixing the implementation.

    I think in addition to the HTTP header and meta tag, there needs to be an Internet Zone named IE 6 compatible, and an Internet Zone named IE 7 compatible.  If you rely on the page authors to add tags or headers, that will break a huge number of sites, and users aren’t in control over what the site sends or doesn’t send.

    What would make the most sense would be to have additional zones, that white list like trusted sites (or a similar mechanism to the trusted sites white list, if not a zone) of sites that require a specific version.

    For example, in FireFox, if I view a page that requires Internet Explorer (say an ActiveX based site), I can white list the site with IE Tab so that it opens in an Internet Explorer tab.  Just a similar mechanism that lets the user say "my banking site needs IE 7 compatibility to work properly," instead of leaving them at the mercy of the site operator.

    @ Jon Mclaren:

    There is/was a Linux version of Internet Explorer for a long while.  It won’t fix your problem, however.

    The issue is most of those sites that are IE only also need ActiveX (otherwise no reason to be IE only).  ActiveX is just a plug in system, like the XPI system used by FireFox, however as the plug ins are native code, in addition to having IE available on your platform, you would also need whoever is writing the plug ins to provide Linux ports.

    And of course, IE 5 MacOS was one of the most popular MacOS browsers for a long time, but has the same issue.

    On FireFox, you can enable ActiveX in source builds because FireFox provides the necessary interfaces (ISiteEx and IUnknownEx).  This feature is disabled in all builds of FireFox by default, because it isn’t completely stable nor well tested.  For Windows, there are prebuilt binaries with the support available as XPI files.

    Silverlight is available for MacOS and Linux, Microsoft’s doing that, and so the IE 8 pages should be able to use Silverlight instead of ActiveX, and those Silverlight applets should run unchanged on Opera, Safari and FireFox and should also run unchanged on Linux and MacOS.  

    It remains to be seen if Microsoft will keep cooperating with Mono and the various other browsers to keep Silverlight portable, but I have to believe that they will, because it is in their best interests to as well.  And I do believe they understand that.

  191. ZeFish says:


  192. aussie says:

    While I commend making a change with IE8, the question is: why did it take legal action from the EU to do so? (To affect Microsoft in such a way that "interoperability" is a must).

    And what about websites that are expressly coded for IE? We still have issues with those websites that use Microsoft specific technologies. Is Microsoft going to help address this area as well?

    As far as I’m concerned, Microsoft still has a way to go before fully demonstrating that their "interoperability" principles are genuinely sincere.

  193. 1.) Thanks!

    2.) Acid2 test is ok but it’s testing value is relative of course. IE7 with my site’s browser patch system disabled still has a few bugs. I’m really hoping these bugs have been fixed because I want to say great things about IE8 beyond my anxiousness to test drive the beta. Here is a link to my news page with the secondary CSS file disabled going strictly by the main style sheet only…

    2.1.) Safari 3 has the best CSS3 property support on my website…

    2.2.) Opera 9.5 has finally caught up with Gecko. Gecko became pretty good with 1.8 and I use it as my CSS1/2 reference. Webkit got pretty good with Safari 3. But no browser currently rates as "good" on my site meaning a browser isn’t effected by bugs. Here’s hoping 2008 changes that. 😉

    3.) If anything a meta element or another trigger should be in place to lock in to a version of the rendering mode. However…

    4.) Conditional Comments still exist and most bugs that break pages in IE6 are the exact same in IE 5.5 and 5.0. People should move their CSS hacks to IECCSS files for IE 5.0~6.0 and IE 7.0 respectively. This means…

    4.1.) Web Designers will (thankfully) be required to update old content possibly. This means extra work but it’s necessary. It also helps create necessary clarifications between who can seriously be considered a web designer and who has been messing around with WYSIWYG editors.

    5.) Acid2 compliance is great but not everything. There is the CSS3 selector’s test but as a Web Designer I’m much more interested in properties (to further reduce bandwidth and remove unnecessary) (X)HTML elements so I’m hoping we see mission-critical stuff like border-radius. Doing so will prevent people who stick to the IE8/XP platform from being such a pain when all browsers (including IE9 most likely) support CSS3 universally.

    6.) Why are people talking about Web Developers? I haven’t seen anything here posted about serverside languages such as ASP, PHP, CF, Perl, etc. We’re Web Designers, again please get the terminology correct.

    7.) @ Other web designers: if you’re going to be testing the first beta avoid caffeine withdrawal by going easy on your favorite caffeinated drink until the beta comes out. Besides, it will mean you have more for testing the beta.

    I look forward to the IE8 betas! I hope to see at least a little more then just catching up, I can’t wait to see. 🙂

  194. n-blue says:


    I have short qeustion on "current Web standards". Do you have any plan to support CSS3 and HTML 5 (in some features).

    Other qeustion is will you solve an annoying bug, IE save .jpg to .bmp, entirely.

  195. James says:

    I have to say that I’m asking myself, "What’s the catch?" I’m sorry, but past history would seem to indicate that there’s always a catch.

  196. Aedus says:

    I just wanted to say Thank You to the IE management team for allowing the development of IE progress in a truely interoperable way.

    I look forward to testing the IE8 beta.

  197. Mike Cherim says:

    That’s awesome. A unified industry can move forward. Those who have been playing the game won’t have to play games with funky new meta tags. Those who want to opt out can — knowing it’ll be a temporary reprieve. It’s nice to see the voice of web standards being heard.

  198. Bruce Clark says:

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this!

    I wrote a whole post ( talking about how sometimes, people just need to bite the bullet for the better.

    This is exactly what you have done. Between this, and IE8 really supporting the Acid 2 test, I really like where IE is headed and how you have started to treat the community.

    Great work.

  199. FarStrider says:

    will it be able to read object canvas correctly like the other browsers can eg. opera

  200. Anonymous Coward says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! You just made my day. It will be a painful transition but it will pay off a hundred times over in the long run.

  201. Kinger says:

    as Johnny Drama would say… "VICTORRRRRY!"

  202. WarpKat says:

    With guarded optimism.

    Although the news is actually welcome, I can’t help but maintain this guarded optimism and that this action is only due to past/current/future legal action against the company.

    From a development standpoint, I liked the news that you at least had a standards mode, but I didn’t care a great deal for the fact that it played second-fiddle to the quirks mode in the beginning.

    The point is – do it right the first time and you won’t feel pressure building up.

    It’s not terribly difficult to adhere to standards…

  203. Alex says:

    Thank you, this is welcome news. Im looking forward to testing IE8 as soon as I can.

  204. Mikael says:

    ""So I would request that IE8 provide a way for the user to request that a page be rendered via IE7’s standards mode.  So if an IE8 user visits a site that has not been updated to explicitly request IE7 standards mode and sees that the site looks like crap, she can click a button to rerender the site in IE7 standards mode.

    Most of the respondents here are web devs that couldn’t care less about breaking old sites, but users will indeed care."

    While I agree with you here, do you really think that the typical computer user is going to know that they A) need to turn on IE7 mode through some trigger, and B) will even know that this exists? Most are just going to leave the page or accept it as if it were meant to be that way.

    No matter which way the developers go here, there’s always someone that loses out. The meta tag "switch" is a good idea (much better than the stupid xml prolog to kick in quirks…my god) and even the most undereducated of developers can add this in with ease. My opinion is that it is the lesser of 2 evils."

    The first time I read that IE8 requires meta-tags to render in standards mode, I immediately thought, why not just put a button for the users to press, which would render the page in IE7 standards mode, or quirk mode for that matter. Ruth got the same idea. =)

    When will the user know when turn on IE7 mode? When a page that worked just fine on IE7 does not work in IE8. How will the user know about the possibility to turn on IE7 mode? Through education and well placed trigger button. Making the button visible at all times, will make it easy to find. Also IE8 could try to identify pages made for IE7 and simple ask the user, as IE currently asks for scripts. Basically every page created before the IE8 launch, will be designed to be compatible with IE7. These pages could be prompted to be rendered in IE7 standards mode. The users will most likely inform the author about updating the site and therefore the date will be changed. Obviously this will not mean that the updated page would be standards complient, but if done right, the author would learn how to do things right and create better pages.

    The idea could be extended to include other rendering engines as well. Wouldn’t it be cool to render pages using Gecko or WebKit in IE?

    I really hope this piece of advice does not fall into the category of comments not read, as it in my oppinion would make the web experience better. Last but not least, thank you for making IE8’s standards mode default.

  205. Sal says:

    @WarpKat: You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about…

    The "standards" are mostly still being written, and are full of ambiguities and contradictions.  

    Making any sense of them is a herculean undertaking.

  206. Jack says:

    It’s about time. Sorry if I sound callous, but your complete and utter lack of compatibility so far is inexcusable. I shudder to think about all the hours I’ve lost to microsoft-only development.

  207. RMx says:

    Way to go!!! Finally some good news! I hope you don’t disappoint web developers anymore. Even though Microsoft has done really good stuff to HTML before, I was disappointed and disgusted with IE versions 5 through 7, especially with the security problems, and the well documented rendering bugs here:( here:(  even though I did not do any serious web stuff. But I hope it will all change now.

    Do it, IE team!

  208. FarStride says:

    i noticed something werid with ie7 in vista rc refresh 1 sp. every time i turn my touch pad off into stand by while i have ie open it opens the print comfirmation box.

  209. Siddharth says:

    Finally, Microsoft blinks first!!!!!

  210. Sam says:

    While I’m cautious to trust in Microsoft on this, if it actually happens maybe I’ll get back into web development.  IE6 was the reason I stopped.

  211. Wonderful, wonderful news.  I am curious, however, where you plan to go from here.  Your initial plan with Version Targeting was for all future versions of Internet Explorer to default to IE7.  Now instead I would assume you’re planning to have all future browsers to default to their actual version, but how far do you plan on extending this backwards compatibility?  When you roll out IE9, will you still render sites requesting IE7 properly?  How long will (or can, for that matter) such a plan last?  Will IE47 still let people build websites for IE7?  I encourage you strongly against allowing such outdated and stagnant code to continue functioning more than a version or two after it was standard.  Only by letting old code eventually die can standards ever grow – even legal documents online need to be forced to upgrade eventually, don’t be the reason why they don’t think they need to.

  212. Dave says:

    Thanks for making life better for us all, yet again.

  213. joebert says:

    Things would be alot easier if a third party was in charge of the rendering engine that’s used across all browsers. That way browser makers could focus on organizational or browsing technique & website designers could focus on user experience.

  214. MOVe says:

    Please do support multiple backgrounds:

    It is not enough.

    Thank you 🙂

  215. Microsoft Expands Support for Web Standards : Company outlines new approach to make standards-based rendering

  216. Wictor Wilen says:

    Breaking news! Good news! Finally! Microsoft and the Internet Explorer team has finally decided to change their previous decision and decided that Internet Explorer 8 will render pages using web stand…

  217. Wow, this is great news, guys!

    Thanks a lot for choosing web standards.

  218. Rick says:

    It’s going to take a very, very long time for me to actually start trusting anything Microsoft says or does, but this the only substantial move forward I’ve seen coming out of Redmond in the past decade.

    There’s still hope.

    (It would be a bit too much to actually start cheering after 13(!) years of Microsoft systematically trying to destroy the open web.)

  219. PatriotB says:

    @ Michael Diamond — I’d expect, just like with Quirks, that IE7’s layout mode will stay around probably forever.  There are lots of apps that host MSHTML that depend on its behavior (for better or worse).

    Perhaps if IE ever becomes side-by-side, the Quirks & IE7 layout engines can be "removed" from the newer IE versions and just stay around in the baseline system32-installed version.

  220. Stephen Gentle says:

    Good to hear – it’s certainly out of character for Microsoft to support standards, but OOXML is really not helping build my trust…

  221. Eivind Eklund says:

    Yay!  I’m very happy with this decision, and glad you got around to this 🙂


  222. 簡德瑞 says:

    This is fantastic news and I think it averts what could have been a huge disaster and headache for years to come.

    That said, I hope the IE8 will commit itself to continuously improving IE8’s standards compliance and correcting the DOM errors that plague IE6/7.

    Now that you’re finally starting to catch up, don’t let IE sit idle again untouched for several years.

  223. Eugene Rimmer says:

    Well, guys, that’s the decision people were waiting for. The world is evolving and holding on to the past is not so good, especially when the world has already changed to the good. Yeah, there were some problems we all had in the past, but if someone have suffered because of them, why not kill the reason of the problem and make everyone change to the better instead of adapting themselves to a problem. Nice job and keep up!

  224. Microsoft Expands Support for Web Standards : Company outlines new approach to make standards-based rendering

  225. Me says:

    I’m really happy to hear so and I’m sure this is a good decision. Even in an ASP.NET environment we benefit from better compliance, so making the best standard compliance default is a win for everybody.

  226. Shane says:

    Great. I expect the JavaScript engine work faster than safari 🙂

    It is shame that IE JavaScript engine is the slowest of all 🙁

  227. Thank you very much! You are helping web users, web developers and yourself, as you may now be able to change the negative publicity on IE 8 to much more positive reactions!

    Excellent decision!

  228. Larry Zoumas says:

    If it’s true, thank you. Abiding by published web standards can only be seen as a good thing.

  229. David Naylor says:

    Out of 229 comments so far, four (!) are opposed to this decision. 🙂

  230. Masklinn says:

    Well I guess I can post something to truly thank the IE team for this decision.

    Damn happy to read it.

  231. James says:

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

  232. Andreas says:

    Fantastic decision! Way to go.

  233. Adam M says:

    As a web designer/developer, IE has always been the enemy. The design strategy has, for many years, been to create the page while viewing it in firefox as a clear, cross-browser compliant base. When complete, make an iehacks.css page for weird things Internet Explorer does to the layout. This has not always been easy, but necessary for everyone to experience the page as it was made to be experienced.

    I just wonder how much longer we’ll realistically need to support IE6? No doubt, it’ll be years, I don’t see any way around it. Come 2012, I’ll give you more praise for this when my job takes half the time.

  234. erlehmann says:

    interesting. when can i expect my XHTML to be rendered properly ?

  235. Tore says:

    Now, if we’ll only see a descent and well performing javascript engine, faster DOM manipulation and faster rendering..! Then IE8 will be competitive!

    With Firefox getting even better javascript performance in ver 3, IE 7 is generally outperformed as being 3 times slower and horrendous on string manipulation.

  236. Scarf*oo says:

    You mean that all those debates over metas were in vain? 🙂

    Thanks for that decision, I am grateful.

  237. Matti-Koopa says:



    You will break many many many web pages!

    I hope it will be possible for the uset to change the default setting for the mode back to IE7!

  238. Mo says:

    Thank you. Kudos for being brave enough to change your minds.

  239. That’s good news. Obviously you listened to the community. There may be hope that you begin to understand the internet as it is. And it ist NOT juts a part of your business. But unfortunately your products IE and Outlook are too widespread that one can ignore them. In the next step, please replace Word2007 as rendering engine in Outlook 2007.

    And btw: you should choose your discussion partners of the community in the future a little bit wiser.

  240. Jack says:

    You should just quickly release an IE9 and IE10 so people running some old version will think they are really behind. To a normal user, IE8 doesn’t sound like too much more than IE6. IE10 though… man, I better upgrade!

  241. Rick says:

    this is realy good news 🙂

    now al the "default.css+ie67hacks.css" websites will probably work on ie8 by default !!!

  242. Tristan says:

    "this choice creates a clear call to action to site developers to make sure their web content works well in IE"

    In fact, it is a call to action to make sure their web content works in *any* standards-compliant browser, be it Firefox or Safari or Opera, or IE, should it become by default standards-compliant as you say. That is the point of what you are doing. I hope you realize the importance of that, and why it is such a great thing for the internet. Thank you.

    Also, I sense a surge of anti-Evil emanating from Microsoft’s many points of publicity… I am wary to trust anything you do, but I’m glad you’re finally moving toward better "interoperability" with everyone else.

  243. Peter says:

    PLEASE provide an option for users to switch back to the IE7 rendering model to handle sites that didn’t bother to go back and add the IE7 meta tag.

    (Also thank you for supporting standards by default! And thank you for back supporting IE7. Really!)

  244. This is great news and a decision sure to please a lot of developers. I’m glad this choice was made 🙂

  245. TLZ says:

    This is abselutely wonderfull news!

    I was optimistic about IE8, but was so disapointed when I heard it wasn’t going to be default on standards mode, but now you are.

    This is really great! You guys really do not know how many webdesigners you are going to make happy, how much easier our lives will be.

    Thank you.

  246. LorenzoDV says:

    Great news! And I’d like to add that if you really implement standards well, the standards themselves will provide backwards-compatibility, as CSS and others are always designed with this principle in mind.

    IE7 standards mode broke IE6 standards mode, because the latter was NOT "standard" at all. IE8 won’t brake IE7 in most cases because the IE7 standards mode, although implementing a very little fraction of standards, is almost bug-free. IE8 will provide a superset of IE7 functionality, so it will not cause major problems like IE7 did.

    Thanks, thanks, THANKS for just doing the right thing.

  247. "We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously."

    Wow, I’m surprised because the alternatives to supporting STANDARDS have served you so well in the past

  248. Stifu says:

    Excellent! Thanks for making the right decision.

    I can only hope you won’t come back in a few months and say something like: "After all, we changed our mind again and will go back to our initial plan". :p

  249. EU Overlords says:

    Wow – thank heavens for the threat of continued EU investigations!

  250. yetAnotherWebDev says:

    Good. I am glad that you listened and that you had the courage to change your mind.

    In the end, this will be better for the web and (as the post itself makes clear) also be be better for IE adoption.

    But also, people should never forget this lesson behind this. If the web developer community as a whole refuses to adopt a certain misguided feature, then it can have an effect.

    I hope that the community will act like this again in the future, if any company wants to add a web-segregating feature, no matter _who_ it is coming from – be it Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, or whatever. This is not because it’s Microsoft, it’s because certain features are dangerous for the future of the web.

    The same should be kept in mind with other developments, like Mozilla pushing non-standard parts of Adobe’s ActionScript into the Javascript implementation of their browser, Apple’s disregard for the CSS media type ‘handheld’ on the iphone, etc.

  251. Tim says:

    This made my day. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  252. zx says:

    The best decision you could made. Go Microsoft! 😉

  253. Ben Davies says:

    Woohoo! This is great news! I’m actually looking forward to the release of IE8 now, rather than viewing its release as a looming dark cloud on the horizon!

    The web is not perfect: not everything works and most things are broken, but that is its natural state, and whilst it is barable, it constantly improves and gets better. Dont be afraid to fix things!

    Cheers! Keep up the good work!

  254. IE8 to be standards compliant? Someone pinch me

  255. Wow, that’s great news. Thanks for listening to the community. That’s a very brave decision ! Keep up the good work !

  256. Martijn Verburg says:

    You just made me consider IE seriously again, thanks and well done!

  257. yetAnotherWebDev says:

    Reading the interoperability principles, this is indeed probably more about EU pressure than listening to developers. It’s a good decision anyway, of course, and I also respect the change of course and I don’t want to bash too hard when good decisions are made, but I found the concluding sentence in Steve Ballmer’s announcement for the new policy to make things quite clear:

    "Suffice it to say, we are committed to living up to our legal responsibilities around the world, and we think this announcement is entirely consistent with the legal responsibilities that we have throughout the world."

  258. war59312 says:

    Please fix third party cookies in IE8 while your at it. IE7 cookie handling is broke. IE6 works as expected. FF 2 and FF3 beta is broke too, for those wondering. Go ahead, see if you can make them block third party cookies without blocking first part cookies or using third party tools. Good luck!!

    Opera is the only browser than works!!!

    See grc newsgroups for more info!!

  259. Microsoft hat sich vor der Veröffentlichung einer Beta-Version des kommenden Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) nun doch (einigermaßen überraschend) dazu entschlossen, die ggü. IE6 und IE7 standardkompatiblere Darstellung von Webinhalten nicht von einem entsprech

  260. kl says:

    Fantastic you’ve found courage to do the right thing!

  261. Jack Sleight says:

    "Long term, we believe this is the right thing for the web."

    Yes it is, and thank you! This is fantastic news.

  262. JackP says:

    Brilliant news.

    While I was one of the few who was relatively content with the meta tag idea, my ideal would always have been for "true standards" to be the default standards mode – I just thought the "don’t break the web" mantra meant you couldn’t do that.

    Thank you for listening to this; thank you for changing this. This really is good news – and I bet you’re enjoying for a change a majority of positive comments on the IEBlog!

  263. Rob McM says:

    Great news! Hopefully this ideology will spread through out Microsoft and make the company much better!

  264. Mat says:

    I join all the folks here in saying "thank you"! This is a great decision. In fact, you made me write the first comment ever on a MS blog.

  265. Si says:

    Unless the standards compliance includes the javascript engine its all a crock of ___ for me 🙁

    Can we please see the ECMA script event model in place please. Not everyone out there is doing simple web design, some of us are building heavy weight apps in browsers and getting rid of the clunky tired and down right poorly designed IE event model would really help!

  266. yetAnotherWebDev says:

    Reading the interoperability principles, this is indeed probably more about EU pressure than listening to developers. It’s a good decision anyway, of course, and I also respect the change of course and I don’t want to bash too hard when good decisions are made, but I found the concluding sentence in Steve Ballmer’s announcement for the new policy to make things quite clear:

     "Suffice it to say, we are committed to living up to our legal responsibilities around the world, and we think this announcement is entirely consistent with the legal responsibilities that we have throughout the world."

    And in the press announcement for the planned change of the default IE8 rendering engine:

     “While we do not believe there are currently any legal requirements that would dictate which rendering mode must be chosen as the default for a given browser, this step clearly removes this question as a potential legal and regulatory issue,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel.

  267. Luke Pearce says:

    Well done guys – its great to know that things are listened too and can be re-evaluated.

    A big thank you!

  268. Mike says:

    Thank You.

    (Please keep up this attitude to established standards.)

  269. jalf says:

    Good good. I’m still wondering a bit about the "need to include the IE7 rendering engine" and the  "large quantity of IE7 legacy content" though. I mean, the browser is something like a year old. There is no "large quantity" of IE7-specific content (both because there hasn’t been time to write it, and because these days, *most* content by default works on more than one browsers).

    And second, what IE7-speicfic content there is, almost by definition can not be unmaintained or legacy. It’s a year old, so the vast majority of it will still have developers around who can fix it up for IE8.

    Given these two points, I think the need for a IE7 mode is rather small.

    That’s a big contrast to the switch from IE6 to 7 that seem to have traumatized you so much.

    That had to deal with content developed over a period of 6+ years, and at least half of that time with *no competing* browsers, which means it would have been written for IE6 specifically. Obviously, in that case it made sense to talk about a large quantity of legacy IE6 content. Not so much with the switch from IE7 to 8.

    But that’s your call. As long as it defaults to a sane rendering mode, I’m happy. It just seems like a lot of work for you to go through with virtually no benefit.

  270. Si says:

    No surprise its entirely driven by the legal issue, a bigger stick is the only thing a bully understands….

    Still it’ll be a good result if it ever gets there…

  271. Sander Aarts says:

    Thanks for changing the default behaviour, applying the ‘fix’ to the broken part.

  272. This is great news. Good decision!

  273. Andy says:


    That deserves a drink – I’m off down the pub…

  274. George Ornbo says:


    In fact in the long term I suspect that using standards will mean that regulatory and legal issues are largely negated as there are a common set of standards that everyone can refer to.

    For me the release schedule for IE7 was very good and if IE8 can keep communicating with developers I don’t see any issue for my business or clients.

    Well done Microsoft.

  275. Neil says:

    Well done! Kudos to the Microsoft IE team for getting this right. This is good for Microsoft, and good for users.

  276. I’ll thank you when i’ve seen the end result, but least you seem to be going in the right direction for a change.

  277. Adrian Simmons says:

    Thank you, I could almost cry 🙂

    Really looking forward to IE8’s release now.

  278. Sander Aarts says:

    Oh, and congratz for passing Acid2!


  279. alian says:

    One little step for the man, one huge step for the humanity.

  280. Chris says:

    Thanks for making the right decision and allowing the web to continue to move forward…

  281. Chris says:

    Thank you.

    Not much else worth saying. Just a big Thank You to everyone who made this happen.

  282. Dan Pettersson says:

    Wonderful! I’ve waited for this kind of thing to happen!

  283. Merlijn says:

    well… call me cynical…but with M$ I first have to see this… knowing the reputation of Microsoft in screwing the web community, I am almost sure they will think of a way to nerf it. Making the super-standard mode only available to the Vista-whatever-ultimate users or something.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am delighted that there is a mode where IE will try to follow standards…and it’s even better that they say that mode will be the default one…but after that many years of hacking around IE quirks…I have to see it first.

  284. fr says:

    Another thankyou for listening and making the right descision rather than the easy one.

  285. Bob says:

    Congratulations to the EU for forcing Microsoft to  comply.

  286. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much Microsoft! If you do it right most sites that supported both IE7 and other browsers will still work with IE8. It’s the ones that were designed exclusively for IE7 that will brake.

  287. setmajer says:

    Well done indeed. It’s truly a new day for MS — and the web.

  288. Hok says:

    Please make IE 8 the most reliable IE ever. I mean using IE 5,6,7 I open many print view using GRPS (5,9 KBPS or 48000 kbps). Example sites, I have keep refreshing few times so that all the picture loaded perfectly. The point is please enchanced the IE rendering on slow speed Internet on big print page (sometime mobile review has 13 MB per page, also xbit labs print, toms print, anand print). This problem is very minor with opera and mozilla, just IE that has this problem. Thx.

  289. Erik says:

    How does IE8 score with the new Acid3 test?

  290. jamesicus says:

    Now, if only MSIE will recognize and accommodate XHTML served as application/xhtml+xml they can redeem themselves in my eyes.


  291. Someone says:

    I just have some special request, I really hate to see ClearType enabled on every PC default. It’s ugly and makes my eyes bleed on any decent (TFT)-monitor.

    Might be just me, but nobody else seems to mention it. ClearType should have never been invented, and if they did, never make it a default setting.

    Probably it has nothing to do with it, but is it ‘allowed’ according to W3C?

  292. Niyaz PK says:

    Great. It looks like you could have done it without much reaction from the developers by doing the right thing in the first place.

    As they say "If you don’t know what to do.. wait"

  293. Niyaz PK says:

    Great. It looks like you could have done it without much reaction from the developers by doing the right thing in the first place.

    As they say "If you don’t know what to do.. wait"

  294. Owen Blacker says:

    Thank God for that. A much more sensible solution, allowing forward-looking developers to develop the best possible solution.

    If there are people who genuinely want to develop standards–non-compliant sites, they can apply your "IE7 lock" to ensure their non-standards-compliant site can look the way they intended forevermore.

    Those of us who develop properly, writing standards-compliant sites designed to work in all the main browsers will get the benefits of updated standards support from IE8 without having to update some meta tag to remove the "IE7 lock" each time you release a new browser version.

    Definitely a *much* better solution.

  295. rn&quot;Weve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compl

  296. Percy Pig says:

    Nice to MS finally catching up.  Only 5 years too late

  297. tinyBrowserHack says:

    So those 600+ comments DID help 😀

    Looking forward to IE8.

  298. IEuser says:

    Great News… Now how about ACID3 :-p

  299. Thomas Tallyce says:

    Well done, Dean, this is excellent news. It ‘feels’ like the right decision, and will ensure that what sounds like excellent work on the new rendering engine will be shown off and put to good use.

  300. Rob... says:

    Thank you Dean and the rest of the IE team.



  301. Mike says:

    Hey great, too bad this had to be handed down from above (under pressure from the EU probably) and now all of the sudden you ‘feel think it’s the better choice’. But in the end it doesn’t matter if you dress it up with weasel words, it’s a good decision for use developers and I believe for most users as well.

  302. Tony Isaacs says:

    Thanks this is great news. The transition was always going to be a bit painful but we are moving in the right direction, now. Great , thanks!

  303. Daniel says:

    Well i just cant wait to see a web standard compliant IE!!! many thanks for hearing our desperate mourns and starting to plan a real future for IE

  304. ASPInsiders says:

    With details of Internet Explorer 8 starting to trickle out, one of the key decisions that will impact

  305. Davide says:

    You are late by years! And make sure you will actually achieve standard compliance. This means no exceptions allowed!

    After all the hacks I had to build into my web site to make it render properly on IE6+7, I am not looking forward to redo the job for the next version of your crappy browser.

  306. Neil Cadsawan says:

    I gave you guys a lot of sh*t on the A List Apart boards when the initial announcement was made as well as follow-up articles.

    I’m coming here to say thank you for reversing your decision and taking all of our comments into consideration.

  307. Johann Heyne says:

    Unfortunaly there are some reasons companys and private people will stay with older versions of IE. Is there a strategie to get most IE6 and may IE7 updated?

  308. t says:

    It feels good to be right doesn’t it? Congratulations.

  309. Simon says:

    Thank you, thank you. Happy, Happy, joy, joy. This will save huge  amounts of development time!

  310. Simon says:

    Thank you, thank you. Happy, Happy, joy, joy. This will save huge  amounts of development time!

  311. NM says:

    This is great news IF (and only if) IE 8 is truly standards compliant.  It would be great to be able to develop-once deploy-on-all-modern-browsers.

    IE 7 inches us a bit closer to that, but while I’m still writing conditional-comments to insert IE7-only stylesheets with CSS 2.1 layout fixes (thank god for "zoom:1;"), Firefox, Opera, and Safari are beginning to implement CSS 3.

    What standards will IE 8 support? CSS 2.1 finally and fully?  CSS 3?  Just how buggy will the first round of CSS 3 implementation be?

    And please please please leave us the option of using conditional comments to apply IE 8-only bug fixes!

    And finally… will those of us who need to test sites in IE 6 through IE 8 be forced to buy Vista Professional Edition (and a high-end PC to run it) so we can run VPC, or will an IE 8 image be provided for XP?

  312. Jonadab says:

    Ultimately, this is the right choice, though it may not seem so for the first couple of months after IE8 is released.  Yes, in the short term it’s a hassle, because it means webmasters who have targetted IE7’s quirks and do not intend to update their pages will have to at least add the "please use the IE7 mode" meta tag.  But long term it moves you away from the unfortunate situation where IE is a sort of second-class citizen either getting different content from other browsers, or getting tested and hacked-around as a last step after the initial design work is done, and resented by web developers for that.  That’s a situation that only came about in the first place because IE6 was stagnant for so long, and it’s not where you want to live going forward.

    Besides, the people who will be most inconvenienced by this are those who code exclusively to specific versions of IE, and frankly those are not the people Microsoft needs to worry about convincing.  They’ll come on board because they’re operating in an all-Microsoft environment, i.e., they’re already drinking the Kool-Aid.  They’ll complain, but they’ll toe the line.  No, the ones you need to worry about are the webmasters who currently support other browsers.  And they’re all going to be pleased with this move.

  313. bluebird says:

    After working with web standards for many years I have a question. Many companies, such as Mozilla, AOL (Netscape) and Opera have long claimed to develop their browsers according to W3C recommendations. But sadly, there are still features in HTML/XHTML and CSS that displays differently between these browsers, even though the code is written correctly, according to W3C recommendations. Why is that? Are we to expect that IE8 will follow the W3C recommendations, or will we have another browser saying it’s compatible with web standards without being so?

  314. Thank you!

    The news reached me in the middle of a project that has to work in IE 5.0 through 7.0 and beyond, and I was _just_ trying to decide whether or not to tag it "edge" to support some of the extras in the future. 🙂

  315. Nick says:

    Excellent news. Now that the matter of the default rendering mode has been settled, hopefully the meat of the IE team’s "X-UA-Compatible" proposal will gain greater traction.

  316. mark says:

    Great. Fantastic. Good decision. A very promising start.

    Now all we need is for Microsoft to move further along this correct direction after this admirable first step.

    SVG compliance, Xforms, ODF (native support), other W3C/IETF Standards ( as here ).

    While you are at it, it would be nice to see open codecs supported too … FLAC, ogg vorbis, theora and dirac would be a great start there.

    Drop the proprietary Silverlight, and support JavaFX.

    When Microsoft finally starts to catch up in this area, there will be much global rejoicing.

  317. Rafael says:

    Thank you microsoft, the best choice, seriuosly , Thank you so much for that step . It’s hard but nobody said that the right way is easier. congratulations microsoft. 😀

  318. ncloud says:

    Hey, since browsers have the separate rendering modes built in, would it be possible to have a feature where you could view a page through a specific rendering mode on the fly?  For example, if I’m using shiny new IE8 and want to see how my web page looks in IE6 standards mode, I cloud click a drop-down and choose that option, and the page would be re-rendered using that mode.  Just a thought.

  319. Steve says:

    "Long term, we believe this is the right thing for the web. Shorter term, leading up not just to IE8’s release but broader IE8 adoption, this choice creates a clear call to action to site developers to make sure their web content works well in IE. This topic is one of many things we’ll talk about with respect to IE8 at MIX this week."

    So let get this right. You are still expecting web developers to make sure their content works with IE8? So how far off W3C standards will IE8 be? Will we still be forced to code odd stuff to handle IE’s own perverse idea of how things should be (i.e. NOT W3C standard), or can we concentrate on writing W3C compliant code and YOU do the work to make sure your browser renders our content properly and not how you think it should be rendered?

  320. Thank you so much for doing the right thing. I appreciate the tough situation you guys are in, but I think you made the right choice. Keep up the good work!

  321. Milan Brezovsky says:

    For the first time, I’m excited about IE. This is indeed a good news.

  322. Rob says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. 🙂

  323. leonardo says:

    I could not belive what I read here. Microsoft has decided to turn its back to customer oriented business? Who cares if couple of web developers complain or not? It could have been made standards compliant by default on a later release (IE9?). I am not sure if Microsoft realizes that what ever they do, these people will always find something to complain about. Microsoft should not follow the bad seed on this one.

  324. I’m very glad that you have chosen to reverse the decision on how IE determines default behavior. I think that it is a much more logical choice.

    I also highly appreciate that the MS group is listening to the community of standards developers (not just one or two small groups of them) to make this decision – it speaks highly of a true desire to improve the IE browser and its support among developers.

  325. kazu says:

    This is actually the right way to go – thank you so much. I’m VERY happy with this, I really appreciate all of your efforts for this judgement. Kanpai for IE team!!!

  326. David Naylor says:

    6/327 comments opposed to the change…

  327. I can’t say enough how good of a change this is. My hat is off to the folks on the Internet Explorer team; thanks so much!

  328. Jim Fitt says:

    Very good.  I’m surprised but pleased.  

    It’s to your advantage in the end, you’ll see.

  329. bI am please to report that Microsoft has confirmed that IE8 will use "Standards Mode" (and pass the

  330. Jean-Philippe Martin says:

    This is a great news. It will be better for everyone in the long run even if it hurts for some sites at first. But developper are accustomized to this. With this decision I am really less reluctant to propose IE8 as a browser (instead of Firefox).

    Now, may I ask, can IE9 support XSLT 2.0 and affering standards ?

    thanks for choosing this orientation.

  331. NinjaCross says:

    *Amazing* !

    Thanks for listening 🙂

  332. bluebird says:

    ncloud has a brilliant thought! 🙂

    A dropdown to change view (for cross-browser-compatibility). Just brilliant!

    However, I wonder if Mr Hachamovitch could answer some of our questions. There is lots of good reading in this thread, so it would be exciting to know if the thoughts shared here will be taken seriously.

    I suppose I am one of those "complaining web developers", but seriously – there are thousands of hours spent on building hacks for different browsers, especially in CSS. If IE8 in fact will follow the W3C recommendations it’s actually some kind of miracle.

    So, Mr Hachamovitch and the rest of the IE team staff, this is actually the best news I’ve ever read about web browsers, asuming it is in fact true. The most commonly used web browser is about to become the best. Fantastic! Thank you.

  333. charlie says:

    Great, now i can completely forget about IE and making things work for it.

  334. observer says:

    Very good news, showing both the ability to listen to developers and to react on it a reasonable way!

  335. John Kaye says:

    IE8 — and i’ll still be using Opera. But thanks for playing our game.

  336. Greg McCarty says:

    Great news!  Thanks for supporting the standards.

  337. Thomas Krause says:

    Thank you very much for listening to the community! You’ve done the right thing.

    Also: Maybe you should set a fixed date to drop support for older rendering modes (e.g. IE7). This way you give web developers enough time to change their sites, while also bringing forward the adoption of web standards.

    If you don’t see enough adoption on this date, you can always push this date a little further in the future, but without setting a date at all nobody will bother changing their website.

    Again: Thanks!

  338. GreyWyvern says:

    Kudos to you guys.  The web will now most certainly take a step forward upon the release of IE8 because of this change.

  339. opdude says:

    Thats a much better decision than before well done on listening =]

  340. Rembem says:

    Thank you IE team! This is very good news.

  341. D says:

    Thank you.  This will greatly help.  Good decision.

  342. Jason Honingford says:

    IE is not even a web browser. It’s a bloated operating system with a web browser included. I’ll be surprised if this actually submits being that I’m using Firefox on Microsoft website.

  343. jive says:

    Please support SVG and start dumping the non-standard stuff in IE8 to force people to start using standards. Colored scrollbars, HTML TIME and other proprietary stuff should be eliminated. Although conditional comments might be worth keeping around :p

  344. Nathan B says:

    Now all you have to do is force-feed everyone IE8 via Automatic Update, with no chance of refusal!

  345. DJCarbon43 says:

    Thanks!!! Its nice to see MS listen for a change.

    Now if only they would stop trying to force OOXML past us all quick like…sigh…I guess this is one step in the right direction anyway.

  346. Thank you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    From now on, I definitely count IE team as my fellow browser vendors. You are no longer the enemy. I know now for sure that you encourage good standard awareness.

    Again, thank you. You rock! 😀

  347. John Fargo says:

    I’m looking forward to watching all the web developers try to figure out how to install IE7 and IE8 side-by-side so they can support both 🙂

  348. John Fargo says:

    I’m looking forward to watching all the web developers try to figure out how to install IE7 and IE8 side-by-side so they can support both 🙂

  349. In an amazing (and unexpected) about face, the IE team has reversed its previous decision on how to implement

  350. Anonymous says:

    Excellent decision MS, this goes some way to making the web a more uniformly interpretable place to be.

  351. Everybody says:

    About bloody time. It only took you 8 versions to realise that adhering to web standards might be a good feature for a web browser.


  352. CCK says:

    IE8 is the standard for web browsing.

    Let’s wait for IE8 Beta 1 public release and feel it!

  353. Chris says:

    Does this mean IE 8 will include support for an IE 6 mode, a la <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=6" />?? This would be a great benefit by allowing Intranet systems update IE without having to first recode the internal systems using IE 6 only code.

    Also, seeing as IE 8 will default to standard mode, and no other browser plans on using it, how about trimming down <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="" /> to just <meta http-equiv="iemode" content="" />

  354. Chris says:

    Does this mean IE 8 will include support for an IE 6 mode, a la <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=6" />?? This would be a great benefit by allowing Intranet systems update IE without having to first recode the internal systems using IE 6 only code.

    Also, seeing as IE 8 will default to standard mode, and no other browser plans on using it, how about trimming down <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="" /> to just <meta http-equiv="iemode" content="" /> so that future copy-and-paster’s know it’s aimed an Internet Explorer only.

  355. phil_r_5150 says:

    What a bunch of kiss-asses in here!  MS -finally- do what the Community want and you guys fawn all over them!  They’ve got a lot more to make up for than this.  Yes it’s a major thing, yes they’ve publicly changed their minds, but FFS stop acting like they’ve saved the world.  All that’s happened is for once they’ve done The Right Thing.

  356. Dmitry Sh says:

    Please stop thinking about how pages, specially created for ie6 (ie7) will look under ie7 (ie8). Do it as web-standards say. Consult with Firefox. And all pages will look good under any conditions.

  357. From the MSDN IE Blog, we can see that Internet Explorer will be &quot;interpreting web content in the

  358. AD says:

    As a webmaster who seeks to code for standards first and adapt to different browsers as little as possible, I like this change.

    I hope that standards compliance improves in all browsers to the point where if you have tested successfully in one browsers standard rendering, you can be reasonably sure that it will work in the other browsers.

  359. Dan F says:

    Thankyou! Just to join in everyone else. This is *really* good news. 🙂

  360. Nick says:

    I would gently remind this community that until IE8 actually comes to fruition, this is nothing but talk.

    Microsoft has set our profession, and the web in general back close to 5 years with their sub-par browsers and proprietary technology. While I applaud the effort, the hundreds of hours I’ve spent squashing IE rendering and behavioral bugs has left me bitter and skeptical. Default standard rendering is great, but it doesn’t mean a thing unless IE’s "standard" matches the rest of the planet.

    To summarize: I’ll believe it when I see it.

  361. Andrew Powell says:



  362. Mitch 74 says:

    Yes! Oh, Yes! Yippeee! Thank you for at last listening to us poor web developers!

    Will IE 8 reach an honorable score at Acid3? Currently IE7 score 12/100, while others (Konqueror, Firefox, Opera, Safari) are getting higher and higer (from 38 for Konqueror 3 to 87 to Webkit’s latest build, with several engines in the 60s marks)

    After CSS improvements, Javascript+DOM improvements.

    (I just can’t let you feel too happy with yourselves, right?)

  363. Andrew Meyer says:

    Thank you! The IE dev team is completely changing my attitude towards Microsoft. Excellent Job!

  364. Mephiles says:

    I think you made a good desision. Is the "IE8 standards mode" still part of Trident?

  365. Thank you for listening to the community.

  366. Ramy Eid says:

    I think making another standard is wasting for efforts, you can invest your efforts in more collaborating with others to enhance the current standards for web platform. I think windows by making another base of standards makes life harder for web developers, because they have to make sure that their products and services are available for all persons, either they are M$ customers or not.

  367. Seven says:

    That’s nice, but it doesn’t change that thing: many peoples are still using IE6, which isn’t really up to date. That is bad thing, because if you are developing internetsites, you have to support IE6 in some way by default.

    Best move from Microsoft would be to update all old IE’s to IE7 with no option like "don’t update". When new IE8 comes, Microsoft should do that move again.

    Anyway nice to hear that IE8 is going to be good. But I’m same line with many others: I’ll believe it when I see it.

    By the way, do good work with IE8 UI too. Look at Safari or Firefox, those has good UI. 🙂

  368. havey says:

    @Microsoft:  Way to go!  I was preparing for yet another blow to the future of the Web until I read this post.  A MASSIVE Thank you!!!!!

    @John III:  Web Developer and Web Designer are just titles, and they overlap majorly.  I was originally a Web Designer, but I do PHP, XML, XSL, AJAX, SQL, ASP, JSP, & Rails too.  Thus these days Web Developer seems a more appropriate fit.  The terms are used interchangeably these days, get over it.

    @Microsoft: "Interoperability Principles" talks about:

    "1) ensuring open connections" – Awesome, so where is the public bug tracking site going to be, and when does it open up for submissions?

    "4) fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry" – Perfect, please indicate what DOM fixes/implementations are in IE8, ditto for CSS, ditto for XHTML, ditto for SVG, ditto for ECMAScript.  A roadmap would also be very nice.

  369. @Rob:

    Using the DOCTYPE to switch between a standards-compliant and a backwards-compatible mode was first mentioned on the Mozilla mailing lists in 1998, though admittedly it was first shipped in IE5/Mac. The whole need of quirks mode came out of the browser wars: IE isn’t the sole blame of this — Netscape and Mosaic are just as guilty — IE is probably the least guilty of the three.


    Quirks mode existed before IE6 shipped. The fact that development of IE was stopped is wholly irrelevant. IE6 has nothing to do with the cause of quirks mode.


    OOXML has nothing to do with the IE team, nor does this post have anything to do with the Office team. The decision to make IE8 Standards Mode the default will have been made within the IE team, so OOXML has absolutely nothing to do with this. MS is a far from small company.


    Implementing all of standardised CSS is hard: what do you define as standardised? Everything that’s a REC? The former makes little sense as that leaves you with CSS 2.0 which is far too vague to be interoperably implemented.

    Nothing has implemented everything that’s had a call for implementations yet: it’s a vast amount, and in a lot of cases it means writing a layout engine from scratch (an advantage the IE team have with what they’re doing with IE8 standards mode).


    Regarding CSS 2.1, it’s a stable CR waiting for its CR-exit requirements to be met (which require two interoperable non-experimental public stable implementations) — the people it’s not being recommended to, if I’m not mistaken, is authors.


    Often the differences are down to vagueness in the standards — they often are all right in saying they implement it. They just all implement it in slightly different, but conforming, ways.

  370. everheart says:

    I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1.

    Thanks MS.

  371. Excellent news, Microsoft! Time will show that you made the right move 🙂

  372. nemo says:

    How’s this for a new User Agent string? 🙂

    As noted prior, following the Safari, Opera strategy.

    Hell. MS did this long ago with the "Mozilla" bit.

    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible, like Gecko; Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0; Windows Vista;)

  373. emil says:

    It’s really good, even if I don’t use IE, neither have it on my computer, it’s the right way to go. As a web developer, I don’t wan’t to correct the misstakes of the browser developers, and now the IE team seems to realize the same thing


  374. Chris Beach says:

    With this move, my faith in Microsoft’s web browser developers is fully restored. I have enjoyed the improved dialogue with web developers in recent years. Now you’re acting on the suggestions of the community in very important decisions. Thank you so much, sincerely.

  375. This is fantastic news!

    MS is doing the right thing and what’s best for the web as a whole… A very wise long term decision. Congratulations!

    I would like to thank everyone involved in this decision: Thanks! 🙂

  376. Ryan Kaldari says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Hell has frozen over! Microsoft has seen the light!

  377. Hooray! The feedback from the web development community convinced the IE development team to change their

  378. TeamColab says:

    This is great news.  I am so happy that IE8 will be standards compliant.  This will save so much time.

    Thanks MS

  379. Chris says:

    How come Microsoft refuses to acknowledge these two points:

    1) No browser should make up for non-standards compliant web pages.

    2) Microsoft isn’t the web god, and neither is IE.

    Microsoft has been steadily losing market share to other web browsers for years now. People have been designing pages that work in ALL browsers because safari and firefox are steadily gaining ground.

    Here is an idea, release a FULL browser for Windows Mobile, and not that hack of a mobile browser you have now. I have been waiting and waiting and am very close to jumping to the apple ship with the iphone since MS refuses to give me a full browser on a smartphone.

  380. Joe says:

    Translation: IE8 will feature a 90% reduction in suckage, this 90% will be replaced by standards-compliant not-suckage.

    Kudos to Microsoft for that!

    Will it load and run at least as fast and smoothly as the competition on your own proprietary platform? it would be nice to the users who remain ed loyal…

  381. Si Chun says:

    Congratulations for making this decision, and making it early enough in the development process so that people responsible can begin to make changes to the page.  Thank you 🙂

  382. n8 says:

    why is there even a discussion between IE7 Standards and IE8 Standards? They are Standards! Standards should be the same for everyone! WTF? if they are not the same then they are not standards are they!  Why not use the real standards? Stop trying to change the standards and build a browser that i do not have to implement 1001 hacks for to make my web pages look right.

  383. Thank you IE team! I can’t wait to try out  IE8 Beta 1 🙂

  384. sapphirecat says:

    THANK YOU. I look forward to the day when my personal pages will say something besides "[if IE] Your browser is unsupported [endif]". I refuse to spend my free time being frustrated at the failures of IE to render correctly….

  385. Morouxshi says:

    Its not April Fool’s so it seems like this is real. OMG IN OUR LIFETIME Microsoft using standards as a default.

  386. A Sane Microsoft in a Crazy World?

  387. Jake Carter says:

    I think this is a GREAT decision! Thank you VERY much.

  388. Fred Clown says:

    It sounds like you guys are doing some really great stuff.  Acid II compliance, better standards, default standards mode … keep up the good work guys!

  389. Matthew says:

    I am most interested in support for the canvas tag as per w3c standards. 😉 But i digress, i can’t give you an ‘atta-boy’ … just a ’bout-time’ .. maybe …

    atta boy! bout time!

  390. Mark Story says:

    Thanks for listening to the community and making a choice that improves on past mistakes. Allowing them to stay in the past and not haunt developers for all future versions.

  391. Noah Callaway says:

    I think this is a good decision that will, in the long run, push web developers towards using standards instead of relying on quirks in a given browser.

  392. CableGuy says:

    Good decision. Let’s look forward.

  393. Why don’t you just talk to the developers at firefox and opera, so your standards modes can all be the same, then it doesn’t matter if a site is shown in any browser, it will look the same, then you can all fight about other features, others have said that microsoft haven’t given anything worthy of praise in a while, but this just continues the trend. Well done, you’ve just managed to create another browser we have to develop for.

  394. Browser Version Targeting: Teil III

  395. Andrés Delfino says:

    Thank you very much.

    One last thing: please support application/xhtml+xml.

  396. Casper Andersen says:

    Any chance you can have the Microsoft Mail / Outlook projects follow suit and set default rendering to standard compliant html as well, instead of the word render engine rich text stuff.

  397. Blaine McNutt says:

    That’s awesome. I hope that includes the XSLT treatment of whitespace.

  398. LunaC says:

    *Rubs eyes* I’m still sleeping aren’t I?

    *Pinches self* OUCH!

    Wonderful news! I’m looking forward to seeing what else MS has up it’s sleeve now.

  399. MacTyler says:

    This is truly a great day. Thank you for listening to us!

  400. Josh Goforth says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! You made my day.

  401. Javier says:

    I would be honor if you guys take my ideas into consideration…

  402. Ro says:

    That’s a good news but new versions and updates of IE must be pushed to the user, maybe done automatically, ~30% are still on IE6 ! If 1/3 of the web doesn’t download & install new releases, what’s the point ? We will have to tweak the css for IE6/7 for a decade after IE8 release.

  403. ALF says:

    Terrific news.

    Now the question is, is MS capable of making a standards-compatible browser in the first place (or the 8th place as the case may be) ???.

  404. David Naylor says:

    Still only six comments against, out of 400.

    And, btw phil_r_5150:

    This kind of decision needs to be encouraged, however late it may be.

  405. Dan Anderson says:

    It’s about time!  Finally, some sanity from Redmond!

  406. Busy P says:

    GOOD. But I still hate your ass-backwards operating system and your outdated ideas about marketing and business management.

  407. Old Thrashbarg says:

    Nothing to be thankful for. IE ignored standards for the last couple of years in the most arrogant way, and MS (ab)used the pre-installed IE to manifest their monopoly. Now, as they finally have to give in you are thankful? Bah! For what?

  408. Tristan says:

    @Connor Shearwood:

    "Why don’t you just talk to the developers at firefox and opera, so your standards modes can all be the same, then it doesn’t matter if a site is shown in any browser, it will look the same, then you can all fight about other features, others have said that microsoft haven’t given anything worthy of praise in a while, but this just continues the trend. Well done, you’ve just managed to create another browser we have to develop for."

    — That’s exactly what they’re doing. "Standards compliant" means that they render the page based on the standards shared by all the browsers, that includes Opera, Firefox, Safari, and any other decent modern browser. They are saying that the standards mode will adhere to specifications and render correctly, and if that’s true, then it will be on par with the other browsers and we will only have to develop for *one* rendering path. Woo!

  409. Ben says:

    What do we get after 2 versions and what seems to be a century later? "IE8 Standard Mode"? Your joking right?

    I agree with Connor Shearwood, there should be one rendering engine – why does Microsoft feel like they have to reinvent the wheel? WebKit is innovating all the time (client, standards based (unlike gears) SQL storage), why aren’t you just working with those guys already?

    What do you gain by doing this apart from holding web development back for another 5 years?

  410. Harald Walker says:

    Please do the same with your email clients. The next version of Outlook should also interpret html content in the most standards compliant way it can.

  411. Mark says:

    I have a really dumb question to ask. What is all the excitement about quirks and standards and all the rest? Do people really riddle their pages with countless hacks that only matter to Internet Explorer?

    Don’t smart people just write standard (boring) HTML and forego all the stress of tweaking code, CSS, etc. to every browser in the marketplace?

    I just don’t understand how enforcing standards will somehow make everyone’s pages turn green or flip their tables upside down, or something. I just don’t get it.

    I also cannot understand weak explanations about how IE can’t add XHTML support without breaking something else. If my Apache server sends a .xhtml file, with a special mime type, how will that possibly break any HTML rendering? Can’t IE tell the difference (you know, file extension, MIME type, and all)? It makes no logical sense.

  412. Ben says:


    How naive of you… The only thing longer than Vista to ship is a build of IE which supports any kind of standards.

    If I hear/read hasLayout again I might kill myself.

  413. Kwooda says:

    I don’t know why this wasn’t done a long time ago.  It’s like the Y2K approach – fix your existing IE7 content now so it will still work when IE8 arrives.  I don’t understand why there isn’t a "standard" mechanism already in place for web pages to indicate what features they support, like some meta tag string with a list of browsers and version numbers.  But there isn’t, and that is why we have been in this quagmire for so many years with these silly web technologies.

    With so many implementations of "standards", what does "standard" mean, anyway?

    Well, it’s yet another browser version coming down the pike.  Something to look forward to, I guess.  At least it is a step in the right direction, considering the circumstances.

    P.S. Will IE8 fix PNG image support?

  414. Leo says:

    All we need now are announcements at Mix for a integrated spell checker in IE, instant search and man this will be a great week for IE.

  415. Ian Rubber says:

    Now, if IE8’s Standards are actually STANDARDS it will be a great thing.

    As for how long it will take to undo the damage already inflicted on the internet by Microsoft’s previous ‘standards’ we will likely be still dealing with the ramifications for decades to come.

    Thanks for taking a step back from the big red button guys. Now, just put down the gun and the hand grenade and we can all have a nice calm talk.

  416. MicroAngelo says:

    This is truly fantastic news for the internet!

    Yes, it’s a shame that it took so long, and that it took an internal memo to remind you that "interpreting web content in the most standards compliant way possible is" the best way forward, but that doesn’t matter now.

    Now that you’ve realised and made this choice, ensure that the IE8 standards mode is just that!

    And keep this up! Let’s get SVG and all the CSS3 selectors working too! Using open standards you can help create an exiting environment where innovation is possible again online, rather than holding the rest of the internet back by many years!

    Well done for making this decision.

  417. Nate Smith says:

    Thank you so much, this marks a turning point in web standards. The transparency and cooperation the IE8 team has shown is really changing the way I regard this company and its software.

  418. Steve says:

    > Do people really riddle their pages with countless hacks that only matter to Internet Explorer?

    Often, if it’s necessary to do so.

    >Don’t smart people just write standard (boring) HTML and forego all the stress of tweaking code

    Yes, which works fine until the client insists that it also needs to work in IE6.

    >I just don’t understand how enforcing standards will somehow make everyone’s pages turn green or flip their tables upside down, or something. I just don’t get it.

    It won’t, it will just break some layouts.  Go look at in IE6 and Opera 9.5.

  419. Steve K says:

    Let’s face the facts:  When Microsoft says "standards compliant" what they mean is, "We do what we want and call it a Standard".  

    This has been going on in every Microsoft division from year one, and shows no sign of ever changing.  Why?  Because it damages Microsoft’s competitors, and punishes developers who do adhere to industry standards.  And yes, increasingly, it is against the law in jurisdictions where educational standards are high enough that FACTS about technology play a role in regulation of technology.

    IE 8 will be no different. Aside from Microsoft employees and people enrolled in Microsoft sponsored training programs, NO ONE EVER designs for Internet Explorer.  We design for WEB BROWSERS, then we go back and BREAK our code to force ugly broken dangerous Internet F’ing Exploder to render it close to right.

  420. Jonathan Leech says:

    I would like to 2nd (or 3rd) the request for decent alpha transparency support. Another problem with it is that text rendered above an alpha png, or IE-specific alpha filter, no longer appears anti-aliased. In this respect IE7’s alpha transparency support is worse than IE6. What will IE8 break?

  421. Internet Explorer 8 will render with ‘super standard mode’

  422. Teuvo says:

    It’s Christmas for web developers 🙂

  423. Ian says:

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you !!!

    Next step 🙂 – Toolbar icons you can move within the nice glassy bar. By default, home, stop, refresh etc should all be next to the next/prev buttons.

    Also support for apng 🙂


  424. jun says:

    Marks asks a dumb n00b qestion (as he admits) <i>"I have a really dumb question to ask. What is all the excitement about quirks and standards and all the rest? Do people really riddle their pages with countless hacks that only matter to Internet Explorer?"</i>

    Mark, when use standard HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you end up with the problem that IE doesn’t display it correct and makes your site look bad.  So, then you throw in some hacks to make IE behave like a real browser.  So, the big excitement is that supposedly we won’t need to do that anymore.  Supposedly IE will be a real browser now.

  425. StandardsStupidityGalore says:

    Standards were created by a group of whiny-ass losers who couldn’t compete in a marketplace. Unfortunately tech community blinded by its ‘save the underdog’ has chosen the path that will hobble any progress whatsoever that browsers will ever make. Look at any comput-ah language, as soon as it was standardized it was pretty much a death knell for the language (not in terms of adoption, but in terms of evolving). And now the same will happen to browsers. Thank you very much standardization-a-holes.

  426. Mark says:


    Thank-you for your answer. I believe what you are saying. But I don’t fully understand it because my sites work just fine in IE 6 (and in every other browser), because I stick to standards, and I have no "IE-isms" in the code. I have never found it "necessary" to use a bunch of hacks. Don’t W3 HTML and CSS work in IE?

    I get the feeling that "real" web designers find my approach stifling and resulting in ugly, boring web pages. But at the same time, I have been very happy to avoid all this grief that I have been reading about.

    Am I to assume that designers aren’t happy with standard HTML/CSS and so implement workaround to those standards? Are the workarounds _really_ necessary?

    If amazon (your example) doesn’t have a consistent look across their desired audience’s browsers, then that tells me they should be taking a more conservative approach. Standards are great, but of course browsers lag the standards to varying degrees (which is the point of this whole discussion). The price of using bleeding-edge HTML or layout is that you’re going to break some users’ experiences (true for any browser).

    I must be the Andy Griffith of the web because I validate my CSS and HTML and am not willing to spend 5 seconds writing IE specific HTML or Javascript code.

  427. Ian says:

    Mark: Just don’t touch websites or any type of design for now on. If you don’t understand it, you really should be nowhere near it.

    And if your still building sites using tablecell layouts – please go to the next mental house and stay there until you recover 🙂

  428. Heh… so now we are going to see a IE that "works" with standars?… what about javascript?… i would love to program anything for the web… and NOT having to write try {} catch(){} blocks ONLY for IE…

  429. jun says:

    Mr. StandardsStupidityGalore shows his complete ignorance of the topic.

    "Standards were created by a group of whiny-ass losers who couldn’t compete in a marketplace."  You’re a real moron, you know. Standards came out of the dark and dismal days of IE and Netscape each implementing their own proprietary tags and Javascript and breaking the web to where you had to have both of them installed and switch between them to be able to see the sites you wanted.

    "Look at any comput-ah language, as soon as it was standardized it was pretty much a death knell for the language" — like, Java? One of the most thriving languages in existance.  What kills a language is not standards, but lack of or crappy documentation.  I don’t use C++ anymore because nothing comes standard in it and there’s no decent documentation. Each compiler is different and doesn’t come with the same libraries etc.  Real developers use languages that abide by standards and as a result are cross-platform.  Microsoft fan-boys, who can’t compete in a market because none of their crap will run on Linux or Mac but only on Windows, use crappy languages that don’t abide by standards, like all the .NET languages.

  430. Dave Hodder says:


    The simple answer is yes.  A modern website is built to <a href="">web standards</a>, and then <a href="">lots of CSS fixes</a> are applied to make it appear correct in IE6 and IE7.  So these CSS improvements in IE are a big deal for developers, and very welcome news.  (Thank you IE Team.)

    (You can check the XHTML media type yourself by comparing <a href="">this HTML page</a> with <a href="">the XHTML equivalent</a>.  It simply doesn’t work in IE7.)

  431. jun says:

    Mark, you sites probably work find in IE6 do to the fact that they are plain black and white pages with text, not graphics intensive with cool widgets and stuff.

  432. This is wonderful news. Good for the web. 🙂

  433. Sean says:

    Hmmm… should I be happy? Everything now needs to be rebuilt AGAIN? I understand standards-compliance, and agree with the principles. But in cold reality it’s a mostly esoteric goal, not likely to have the impact some want it to have. I’d guess the "community" that MS is listening to is disproportionately made up of purists. Well here’s hoping this goes well 🙂

  434. mario says:

    Why don’t you just STOP trying.

  435. Microsoft gaat zich aan bestaande standaarden houden!…

  436. cynical but serious says:

    All of you who are saying stuff like "my faith is restored", etc. need to check yourselves.

    This has way more to do with the LEGAL issues than any visionary or magnanimous gesture to the web developer/consumer communities.  (The time for that is long past.)  The benefit of appearing to have "listened to the community" is incidental.

    As much as Microsoft appears to exist in a (good-software-design AND in-general-good-human-conduct-)standards-ignorant vaccuum, sometimes they are nudged in the right direction by external events.  Specifically, events that cost them money.  Like in the case of the "Interoperability Principles" that were conveniently published about a week before the EU fined them $1.3B for, bascially, their practice of making it too difficult (costly) to get reasonable access to technical details of their proprietary standards.  For the duller knives in the drawer:  the exact issue this big Interoperability Principles press event futilely tried to play down before they got fined up the wazoo.  (And maybe it worked!  For all we know, the fine was going to be bigger until the Feb. 21st stunt…)

    So, simply, this IE8 move is in accordance with MS’s two-week-old re-re-re-re-(etc.)-revitalization of the goal of protecting themselves from preventable losses incurred by monopolistic practices the EU will not stand for.

    By the way, note the use of the term "Principles" in "Interoperability Principles".  A weak word which MS can use to wiggle out of compliance when it suits them.  Something along the lines of "Standards" or "Mandate" would be more encouraging.

    Consider even something as subtle as Dean not linking directly to the "Interoperability Principles" definition document (, instead routing everyone through all the PR nonsense found on the PressPass page.  Why?  It seems web developers are the ones taking a primary interest in this, and the concrete technical explanation would probably suit them fine.  Still he tries to wring every last ounce of momentousness out of this so-called "event" by directing us to a page with all the pre-spun multimedia fluff.  (Although my life has certainly been enriched by that picture I’ll forever refer to as "The Three Dopes".)

    Having suffered through near-daily use of MS software (OSes, Visual Studio, Office, games, etc.) for about 20 years now, it’s no longer about these single issues (although if it was, this one — the refusal to design a browser for web-standards compliance — was surely a shining example of stubbornness and ignorance!); it’s about how deeply this culture of releasing focus-group designed, "we consulted with a bunch of experts blah blah blah", "we spent millions researching blah blah blah" MEDIOCRE (in some cases barely functional) software, wrapping it in some glowing-language ad campaign about how they respect your creativity, then charging way too much for it permeates the entire company.

    It’s about insistence on planning around development cycles and budgets that don’t account for the fact that there will be serious, community-alienating bugs and usability-poor implementations that SHOULD be addressed well into the development cycle of the next product (or version thereof), but never are.

    It’s about all this, and then when the customer/user has issues, saying "Would you like to purchase some paid support incidents?"

    (Noting Larry’s very first comment about PNG transparency:  THAT’S NOT FIXED YET?!  Unbelievable…)

    For some perspective, I am no Firefox fanboy.  Firefox has its share of questionably designed and implemented features, and clearly renders slower than IE6.  The killer difference being: if I don’t like it, I can build my own from customized source.  Also not a web-standards-obsessive — just someone who doesn’t like having to do stuff twice for no good reason.

    P.S. A lot of these comments sound too positive.  ("The IE team never fails to impress and amaze me" — WTF?!)  At worst, they are planted.  At best, symptoms of some twisted variant of Stockholm Syndrome.

  437. James Marten says:

    Still can’t believe that. After a decade of %$%&/(§$ this sounds much to reasonable for a decision someone at MS would ever come to. Is this a hoax? I must admit that I’m deeply moved. Thanks.

  438. Mick Fckin Jagger says:

    They are fooling us AGAIN! Rememeber IE7? Trust me, now we are gonna have to hack IE 5, 6, 7, 8! We need to kill off this browser — for good.

  439. Dawson says:

    Finally! You decided? Why wouldn’t you do that by default… do you know what a pain it is completely edit the CSS after previewing the sites look in Firefox the entire time? Yea, so know I skip between Firefox and IE since you guys can be compliant with standards…..

  440. Nick says:

    Hey hopefully the IE team reads this but here is what I hope you guys can change with IE8.

    1.RSS – I find it really hard in general to read RSS ideas for fixing this.

    – Add BOOKMARK > Bookmark RSS default, so basically I don’t have to view the rss and then subscribe which I think is dumb and a hassle. IE detects that there is a RSS feed on the page and allows me to just BOOKMARK to add the RSS.

    – RSS is automatically put in bookmarks folder in RSS folder with page links that show the latest feed.

    – Deepen RSS: How IE could deepen RSS concepts:

     – Have the ability to highlight in RSS mode where the highlights become keywords to connect you with what you’re interested in the rest of the blogosphere.

     – Related RSS sidebar: When you add feeds, people who added related feeds according to Windows Live search it suggests to you related feeds.

     – MSN chat within blogs sidebar: when you’re logged into Windows Live Messenger any site you’re on where other people have put blog chat on, allows you to join a chat inside the blog window. Think of this like a rich mode it is the next level beyond a comment.


     – Auto organize: when you add bookmarks, the author of the HTML has written category tags into the html that auto suggest a folder to default the bookmark into. So for instance ESPN.COM and will default into Sports automatically. I won’t have some long ass list of bookmarks that become cluttered and useless.

    – View bookmarks by (doesn’t sort): most visited, last visited, last updated (checks the site).

    – Share bookmarks: you can have a folder of bookmarks you can share with your friends (sweet idea guys you know it)

    Deep Search features:

    – On top of search the web, Search video, Search audio, search pictures (users can select default search engines for all these), and why not also search Social Networking sites.

    and Lastly Mail / Internet integration:

    – Ability to check your mail inside ie (no brainer here guys), I should be able to simply see my mail on a tab in IE like GMAIL but it really is my whole windows mail, best idea ever!! Basically how it works is that Windows Mail acts like a Local web based client, I can do everything I can do in windows mail inside a tab of IE, GUYS MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!. The point of this is to not have a ton of windows open but tabs instead.

    – Shows you how many new messages you have while you browse, alert shows up, you click it and it loads a tab with the new mail, a lot cooler then launching the whole mail client, this is a dream add on but I know it would be ie’s coolest feature.

    Well how about 1 more.

    Ability to tab other programs, instead of having  100 other windows, programs like skype or itunes could have a tab interface to do all their tasks in a tab instead of in a window. Maybe this is a bad idea but just an idea. You could also do like a window on a window, so on one browser window you could have your photos stuck to the upper or lower right to easily add them or select them.

  441. anonymous says:

    Ok, can we have IE 8 yesterday, and can the world at large please stop using the past mistakes called IE 6 and IE 7.

    Seriously, thi sis good news, but unless you find a way to make your customer upgrade away of the poor excuse for a browser they use now, it’s pointless.

    Please prepare for that migration by continously fixing very old and very known bugs n IE6 and IE 7 so the distance between what crap is out there that Microsoft forced onto us all "its part of the OS"-excuse (Well guess it show I’m old enough to have run NT without a SP where IE was optional, it became mandatory in a SP (SP4? was that the evil one?))

    Just make sure the standards are those of W3C, unaltered, unextended, nothing more, nothing less. We don’t need yet another IE to struggle with.

  442. FarStrider says:

    wonder if thier going to add java in again since sun is doing what they critised microsoft for. since they now have the monopoly for java why not add java in again using silverlight to conceal it of course

  443. anonymmous says:

    For all the current website builders failign to understand there are already standards compliant browsers out there: the only advice you need to tell them is

    – develop now for standards compliant browsers, check yyour website in FF, Opera, Safari, …

    – next, use conditional comments to fix IE’s bugs we failed to fix

    All will be well when IE8 comes out.

    If you develop in a mindset here only IE exists, well we misled you, sorry!

  444. purecs says:

    Oh~ God!

    This is wonderful news.

  445. Mick Fckin Jagger says:

    @Tuesday, March 04, 2008 3:08 PM by cynical but serious

    ‘P.S. A lot of these comments sound too positive.  ("The IE team never fails to impress and amaze me" — WTF?!)  At worst, they are planted.  At best, symptoms of some twisted variant of Stockholm Syndrome.’

    Stockholm Syndrome indeed. "The IE team never fails to impress and amaze me"???? Must be either someone from the IE team or a paid poster or someone with the unbelievablest case of Stockholm Syndrome.

  446. rey says:

    Does IE7 take out the ability of ActiveX controls to install themselves without your knowledge?  If not, IE8 should.

  447. no, we don’t want IE.. its pathetic browser.. LOL

  448. Superman says:

    Long Live Firefox!

    IE is pure Crap!

  449. Microsoft heeft besloten dat Internet Explorer 8 in beginsel de gangbare webstandaarden zal volgen. De

  450. IE8 sounds very promising. Is it also going to use less memory than IE7? Firefox uses only 30MB, and +1MB per new instance, while IE7 uses 70MB for each instance. It would be great to see IE8 beat Firefox by using only 20MB and +1MB per additional instance. Firefox also runs only on a few platforms, I would love to see IE8 run on all platforms, like Mac, Linux, Windows, AIX, Amiga, IRIX, Symbian, etc…

    And like Firefox, it would be cool to have full source code of IE8 too, so people can make their own improvements and mods!

  451. Chris says:

    I still don’t understand why Microsoft continues to develop IE, but at least it sounds like it’s finally getting better.

    Kudos for listening to the community. I might stop recommending against using IE if this turns out well.

  452. Thinking guy says:

    People, I do not understand most of you. Microsoft is smiling us inthe  face  – the whole world for years and years with IE.

    And you are happy and applausing them because finally they capitualated and decided to make ONE good product.

    They could not add PNGs with alpha in 5 or 6 years timeframe, they force us to program woraround for <object> tag because of stealing patent rights, now they announce they where just kidding and we will have back normal behaviour (they need at least 4 months to implement that change etc…)

    With Office 2007, Outlook is now using some obscure HTML renderer (borrowed from Word) so e-mail newsletters are not working if you make them by standards (we are back to HTML 3 and TABLE on newsletters just because of them).

    If hopefully people have really freedom to choice, no one will be using Internet Explorer anymore and Internet will be full of W3C standards long time ago…and no one will care about IE 8 and new pledge from Microsoft – we will do by standards this time, we promise…

    Of course, I am sure we should, in case of users really have right to choose,  have IE 8 couple of years ago and with all standards implemented…

  453. Tony Fendall says:

    This is a joke! Why the heck are all you people so glad about this?

    They originally said that IE8 would be fully standards complient. And downgrade of that promise is a disaster for all of us

  454. Stefan Wenig says:

    Thanks for doing the right thing!

  455. Taavi says:

    PLEASE OH PLEASE make IE8 mandatory for all Windows running machines! I hate those who are running IE6 or even worse IE5.5

  456. Danny says:

    Fantastic news, IE Team!

    This definitely feels like the Right Thing.

    Standards mode by default is putting your best foot forward.

    Even if developers find that IE8 standards mode is not perfect, the option to fall back on IE7 rendering means at least not having to maintain yet another IE8 compatibility layer on top of the IE7 and IE6 workarounds we already have been forced to put in place.

    Very laudable of you to listen to the community’s feedback, as well as demonstrating a surprising level of commitment to MS’s Interoperability Standards.

    Now if you could just somehow eliminate all known copies of IE 6 in one fell swoop… c’mon, we know you can bypass Windows Update preferences… it’s time to push that red button!

  457. I’m geniunely surprised, but going to wait to see the real deal until making a judgement on this.

    What the IE dev teams need to remember is that there are thousands of web developers and designers out there who spend x hours making an HTML page/template. When they go to test it, they’ll open up Firefox/Safari/IE and massage the HTML/CSS/JS until it looks good in all of them. Most of us spend x*2 hours specifically on debugging IE, where Firefox and Safari render clean W3C spec HTML/CSS… *gasp* …cleanly.

    Have you guys spent time searching your own product? The simple query ie css :


    Brings up mostly results on bugs, hacks, workarounds, etc. Not praise. (Although Firefox does have known issues) Developers are struggling to use a product that has 90% penetration. If that was the product that our company developed, we’d be out of business.

    From a developer’s prospective, IE is afloat on just because it’s preinstalled with the most popular OS on the market, and not in any merit because of it’s functions or useability. That’s the legacy IE has in the development sphere, is it the legacy the team acknowledges? Riding on the coat tails of Microsoft’s success?

    You have a serious responsibility to address this issue solidly, and I’m hoping that this blog and the new Interoperability Principles are more than just sweet talk. Believe me, if every web developer had a choice, they would force their visitors to use anything but IE.

  458. Only after programmers threaten to boycott IE8 do you guys finally listen to us. Everyone else here can continue to kiss your team’s ass, but I for one can’t wait for the day when the IE Team is shutdown.

  459. Lars Gunther says:

    1. See. The web community actually is able to say nice things to the IE team! I concur. Many thanks for this decision!

    2. Now, what about having a meta tag override an HTTP header? I wish that was impossible as well. It is the exact opposite of how it is done with charset.

  460. jun says:

    Interoperability means unhinging IE8 from the operating system so it can’t coast forever on its viruslike inability to be removed.

  461. Guru says:

    MS and IE Team has broken promises before many times. Remember IE7? And no public beta until June? Until the beta is released and is throughly scrutinised to be rendering according to open web standards and not hardcoded to pass Acid2, I’ll not be changing my opinion.

  462. Kirk M says:

    My personal congratulations to the IE team for (whatever reason) changing their collective mind and finally working towards a new version of IE that will actually comply with current web standards. I have one request…

    Please don’t make it Vista only. The reason should be obvious but suffice it to say that XP is going to be around for sometime to come irregardless of what MS says. For example, look at Internet Explorer 8 and web standards. 😉

  463. Andrew Maier says:

    This is fantastic news! I’m so relieved 🙂

  464. It is imperative that software developers reach a consensus about how certain in-demand/popular services like http are delivered to consumers. Organizations like the w3c use a very formal and logical method of creating, revising and documenting acceptable standards for how mark-up is translated. While I am not necessarily advocating the w3c standard I think it is important to note a very noble and and worth wile approach to getting everyone on the SAME PAGE, literally and figuratively.

    That said, I can not endorse the idea of the IE7 standard being the default method for translating a page. IE8 needs to represent an effort by Microsoft to create a quality product that is competitive with other products for the right reason; Not just because everyone wants to design a page for IE browsers to keep their customer base high. That is to say that despite  the tremendous amount of knowledge and innovative thinkers coursing through Microsoft, I am disappointed by their ability to innovate in their own field and still stay communicative with others on the same field. It feels like Microsoft is is the wide receiver waiting for the Hail Mary while the rest of his team is running an option and getting blitzed by the opposition.

  465. One more "thank you."

    And a request: allow administrators to change the default to IE7 for certain domains and/or zones.

    That will allow companies to roll out IE8 much more quickly. They don’t always have control over meta tags or HTTP headers with certain applications, and their desktops shouldn’t have to wait for *EVERY* intranet app to add full IE8 support before the roll-out.

  466. Zeljko says:

    I would say thankyou but honestly Microsoft should be ashamed for not having done this sooner.

    Learn to listen…

  467. vsync says:

    Thank you!

    I know you had a lot of pressures stemming from bad decisions previous developers and managers at your company made.  Thanks for making the right call.

    Please don’t kill off your browser team if you manage to get some market share back like you did after IE6.  I’m not a partisan for any browser; rather I’d like to see a vibrant marketplace with many choices of conforming user agents.

  468. Dave says:

    The next thing I would like to see is an improvement of the JavaScript Engine! Otherwise companies may well have to go for alternate browsers for better performance with their AJAX intensive online apps.

    And yes, we do currently recommending other browsers for our applications.

  469. Girish says:

    This is definitely a right approach to make IE more popular as compare to Firefox. I personally recommend all of my clients to use Firefox as its tough to work with IE specially with CSS. now one CSS for all would really make life easy.

  470. Than You Dean Hachamovitch for ensuring the most reasonable level of W3C standards compliance will occur OOTB.

    I certainly hope your IE8 crew has studied my suggestion and has decided to redesign Favorites to enable them to be stored in the Windows RSS Platform so they may be loaded and unloaded dynamically making access, usage and maintenance fast and easy for those of us with large research collections.

  471. Seth says:

    Congrats on implementing something everyone else has been doing for 10 years… ?

    It’s great to know you guys are finally catching up to the 1990’s, but IE6 and IE7 are so frustratingly impossible to develop for without some kind of mystical hoodoo, this feels like too little, way way way way way too late.

    I tell everyone I know to use Firefox or Opera.

    This is going to continue. Sorry.

  472. Just to let you guys know… Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for the IE team, just announced that IE8

  473. tom says:

    the world deserves better than the garbage you offer.

  474. The Mossman says:

    As the title implies, the IE8 team has reversed their decision to have IE8 render in IE7 mode by default

  475. Anonymous says:


    Nobody has been doing this for ten years.  Where do these memes come from?  For instance, Acid2 compliance in Safari 3 was ~ 3 years ago, and in Firefox was a couple months ago.

  476. As the title implies, the IE8 team has reversed their decision to have IE8 render in IE7 mode by default

  477. @Mick Fckin Jagger, cynical but serious

    The IE team has never failed to impress me. I have no affiliation with Microsoft, I do not work for them, and they have never paid me anything. I have spent a decent amount of time with Linux and some with Mac OS X, and I use Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE. And yet, horror of horrors… I prefer Windows Vista+IE to anything else out there. Freedom of preference, anyone? 😉

  478. Fx3 says:

    Firefox 3.0 was compliant with Acid2 since Dec 8 2006.

    "Firefox 3 reflow-refactoring branch lands on main Gecko trunk. Firefox/Camino/SeaMonkey trunk builds now pass Acid2, barring other regression"

  479. I’m glad Microsoft has decided to stop pointing that gun at its foot, but for me the real good news is that Microsoft intends to make IE8’s Standards Mode "much, much better" than IE7’s.

  480. Timothy Toe says:

    This is great. It means that someday, when IE6 and IE7 are no longer used, I won’t be up all night fixing my IE problems.

  481. John says:

    Thanks for doing the right thing in IE 8!

    I already changed the conditional comments around my CSS IE hacks to "<!–[if lt IE 8]>" instead of "<!–[if IE]>". (By the way, having to add the "conditional comments" feature in the first place should have indicated you were heading in the wrong direction with IE 5, 6, and 7.)

  482. one of the web guys says:

    You said something like that for IE7, but still id didnt do squat in improving standard compliance mode…

    Somehow i have a feeling that only thing IE8 will bring is another [if IE 8] statment in our HTML’s…

    But i do hope youll prove me wrong…

  483. shockwheat says:

    I think the web would be better off if MS quit making browsers. All the money in the world and you guys finally see the light? Pretty pathetic.

  484. bob says:

    This is a step in the right direction.  10 years late, but better late than never.

    However, given MS’s history of promising the sun and then only giving us a bright flashlight, I’ll believe it when I see it.  It’s all talk until then.

    In the meantime, I’ll continue using my standards compliant browsers (FF, Konqueror, etc.), and use them for development purposes as well seeing as MS really sucks when it comes to JS development.  (no JS console, no inspection of the JS at run time, meaningless and wrong error messages.  Sure you can get these features – as a 3rd party add-on which a) costs, and b) requires trust of the 3rd parties.)

  485. Daniel says:

    As it is, I can write a fairly complicated web page that will render as expected in Firefox, Opera, and Safari on three different operating systems.  But Internet Explorer 5, 6, and 7 render the pages differently and require different ‘hacks’.  As long as IE8 standards mode means no more IE-specific hacks, I don’t care about compatibility with previous versions of IE.  If IE8 "standards" mode just means developers need to learn and use a new set of hacks, then what’s the point of making a new standards mode?

  486. David Gerard says:

    Good one. Thank you very much 🙂

    BTW, I’ve been browsing in Minefield (Firefox 3 nightlies) a lot lately. It’s serious competition. But Microsoft has always done well technically against serious competition, so I’m actually looking forward to IE8 😉

  487. mateo says:

    wow, IE will start doing what Opera has benn doing for years…

  488. kperpy says:

    Any tech-savvy person in their right mind should be using firefox by now. IE is always too little too late and it’s slowing down progress. Web developers have to work harder and cut back features for IE users (Read: MOSe) and it’s frustrating to say the least.

  489. zahadum says:

    apple’s osx went to intel …

    and now msie goes to web standards!

    it’s getting mighty chilly in hell these days 🙂

    seriously: i second the thoughts of Hostile Monkey above:

    "Awesome. Now make sure you KEEP LISTENING.

    We’ll sure as hell KEEP WATCHING." (eg acid2 without tricks, etc).

    dont think for one minute that this small concession to a public web (oh flash, where art thou?) absolves microsoft of all its heinous cyber crimes! …

    however, it might reduce the punishment from eternal damnation to merely an asymptotically long time in hades – which would still include those eu fines, bundling prohibitions, etc.

  490. BlackBeard says:

    "I still don’t understand why Microsoft continues to develop IE, but at least it sounds like it’s finally getting better."

    Microsoft keeps developing IE because Firefox and Opera suck at business intraweb functionality.

  491. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!


  492. Last Anticipated Tidbit Of Suck Finally Removed From Internet Explorer 8

  493. Leevi Graham says:

    This is really good news. The IE team has alot of things to consider when making these decisions. If money and legal issues were the things that topped them over the edge than that doesn’t matter. All that matters now is that browser development and therefore website development can advance to a new level.

  494. Diego Perini says:


    hold your thanks until you at least see some code…

    What has been fixed ?

    Do they have better CSS supported ?

    Do they have better Javascript support ?

    Did they fix all the bugs they had 5 years ago ?

    Data URL, Acid2 test, where can I have a look at it ?

    Nothing has changed yet…They just changed their mind a couple of times. This is just a high signal of deep indecision.

    They just entered a dark room, light has not been switched on yet, just hitting corners up to now.

    I am happy if adding a META is going to fix everything in the WEB but I don’t think this being the case.

    Anyway you are just delaying a 5 years agony, and you are still convinced that being standard means change the way it was already worked out by the HTML5 group.

    Time will say…

  495. Kelly says:

    “…this choice creates a clear call to action to site developers to make sure their web content works well in IE.”

    How arrogant of you.  The web development community does not need another version of IE that makes us do more work to get pages to render properly in it.

    Why do you make it so hard?  It is simple, we write to the standards and IE8 renders the page properly. see how easy that is.

    I create a page and test it in FireFox, it works in Safari and Opera.  It is your job to get IE into that statement as well.

  496. Keith says:

    If Microsoft is to come up with IE 8, the one thing that I would definitely want to see is SPEED. IE 7 takes quite some time to boot up and using tabs is pretty slow. Hope the Microsoft team looks into this issue and help to promote IE again.

  497. Dennis Bell says:

    I have worked as a web development contractor at two large (+10000 employee) companies since IE7 came out and to this day, they are still using IE6.  Why?  Because IE7 breaks their multi-million dollar web applications.  They are frozen on a non-standards-compliant browser and will not go forward.  How does that help bring standards acceptance forward?

    If you want market penetration of a good standards compliant browser, you have to make sure it doesn’t break what came before it.  I personally welcomed the idea that all that came before would continue to function perfectly as-is while at the same time allow the functioning of standards-compliant web pages.

    This is so inconsiderate of the consumer.  There will definitely be another wave of "we’ll stick to what we have, thanks." if this is the path IE8 takes.

    All you developers that are giving a big ‘Thank You’ and who whined at the previous behaviour aren’t thinking this through — IE8 would have still given you a standards-compliant browser.  It seems to be completely reactionary to the headline: "IE8 default mode will not be standards compliant" does not mean IE8 is not standards compliant, its just you have to flip a single switch to bask in the standards-compliance glory.

    As a web developer, I heartily welcome actual standards compliance from an IE browser — but not at the cost of breaking what’s out there now.  All the developers that were balking at having to put a meta tag in the header to enable full standards compliance are not thinking about the reason they have a job — the end user.  The end user doesn’t care about standards, they care that the damn thing works.  Most end user’s don’t have the ability to take what works in IE6 and move it to IE7 and IE8 standards mode – they may not own the code.  Sure it’ll mean copious amounts of work for us, but when I write something that works for a client, they expect that it will STAY working.  Defaulting to IE7 is a reasonable means to that end (defaulting to IE6 would be better).  Even better if it could detect IE6 or IE7 hacks and determine what mode it should use, but setting a mode in the meta is much cleaner and closer to standards compliance.

    Here’s the two scenarios:

    1) IE8 supports standards out of the box

    Dev – "Here is the wonderful new web application that I truly enjoyed creating because its standards compliant.  It runs in IE8."

    Customer – "I’m sorry, we don’t use IE8.  It breaks our existing code base"

    Dev – "It’ll take me months to get this to work in IE7(IE6,whatever…)  That will cost you $$$$"

    Customer – "No thanks, we’ll just use someone else."

    2) IE8 supports IE7 out of the box

    Dev – "Here is the wonderful new web application that I truly enjoyed creating because its standards compliant.  It runs in IE8."

    Customer – "We’re running IE7 to support our current code base"

    Dev – "No worries – IE8 is completely backwards compatible with IE7 with no change to your code base."

    Contrived, but you get my point.  If you want to start enjoying a world where you create things that actually obey the standard, and not have to hack and wedge your code, and cause you to stay up late to the wee hours going, "Damn it, this SHOULD work", then you need a platform that is acceptable to your clients for the current needs

    Of all the times that Microsoft has refused to bow to user pressure, that they chose this one to act on floors me.  And it’s not even the users who are exerting the pressure, its the developers of the content that the users will read that are exerting the pressure.


  498. Al Billings says:


    Those companies are going to have to update someday. They can either do it now, or after IE8 comes out or some magical future day but the web of IE6 is gone and, at some point, IE6 will, thankfully, be gone.

    If they’d written standards-based pages in the first place instead of catering to one specific browser that only works on Windows, they would not have this problem. People need to plan ahead or there is a cost. They know that now.

    I have friends who are web developers in the same situation. At the end of the day, though, the companies will have to move off of IE6.

  499. Ron says:

    @Dennis Bell

    It won’t cost a company that much to have opt-out-of-ie8 tags added to their pages.

    Alternatively, it should be possible to use the IEAK thing to deploy IE8 so that it defaults to IE7 rendering.

    There will be more options for IE8 than there were for IE7.

  500. Dev guy says:

    hey Dennis, r u lazy? or crazy?

    Ie6 sux completely!!! its only a big pill of B******t!

    I don´t care if the ie6 users see something broken, so M$ would force these people to upgrade like they do with some programs like Messenger.  🙂

  501. Johann Heyne says:

    I try to code crossbrowser without IE hacks. Yes its possible even with good designs. Otherwise u will end up in a madhouse, I swear.

  502. Andrew Myhre says:

    @Dennis: surely encouraging users to upgrade to IE8 is much less expensive than writing more code to comply with a new browser? We’re thinking about the long game here. IE6/IE7 will eventually phase out. I’ll be glad when the non-.Net developers I work with have one less legitimate complaint about Microsoft software.

  503. AJenbo says:

    @Dennis Bell: Maybe they should make a law suite against the company that made a hack with no forwarded thinking and charged multi-million dollars for it, that way they can afford to hire some on to fix it so that fixes are separated and only served where needed.

    Besides there where never going to be a IE6 renderer mode in IE8 and the type of situation seams to revolve around the dark ages of IE6.

    Now when some one makes a multi-million pile of do-do it can be locked to IE8 or IE7 renderer mode, but then again they didn’t listen when MS told them how to lock there pages to IE5 (quirks) mode if they didn’t wanted to use proper standards.

  504. Trout says:

    This is excellent – this is the right decision and I applaud you for making the change.  All the web wins with this…

    Thank you!


  505. M says:

    I have a dream… that one day IE and firefox and opera…

  506. Microsoft recently published a set of Interoperability Principles. Thinking about IE8’s behavior with

  507. David Thomson says:

    Well done. Its good to see that the tech guys have been able to convince the marketing boys to take the long view.

    This decision is better for you, better for the development community and better for the web. Now if only we can see you serve xhtml as an application we can all get on with the business of developing web3.0.

    Let’s all party!

  508. bencoder says:

    thank you ! if only it was like this from the start.

  509. Awesome!  Im looking forward to seeing the new IE8 and I cant wait to download it.

  510. Log0 says:

    ‘Tis good news indeed. We shall look forward to a unified platform of the future. Although it has come late, but it is better than never. Thank you guys all.

    Do as said! Keep up the good work! This is a good start.

  511. OperaUser says:

    Y’know, you could just call IE8 something other than Internet Explorer.

    If the server/page/whatever can’t identify the browser as IE, it should fall back to a more standards compliant version.


  512. nemo says:


    That’s what I said earlier.  I’m hoping someone else will pick up on it 🙂

  513. Alan says:

    Who cares? Go outside and be with your family.

  514. Steve says:

    On behalf of web designers everywhere…HOORAY!

  515. Mehdi says:

    All this talk about this wonderful new browser…

    I’m using Windows 2000 Pro, and I will keep doing so. There are thousands of people out there that will not or cannot upgrade to XP (don’t even mention Vista), so they’re SOL.

    If I could, I’d upgrade to XP Pro… but I’m not that rich that I can shell out $270 just to get an updated browser.

    As long as IE remains a forced part of the OS, with ridiculous system demands, you are going to have to deal with IE6.

    A comment like "I don´t care if the ie6 users see something broken, so M$ would force these people to upgrade like they do with some programs like Messenger.  :)" shows a total disregard of what the web is about:


    If I have to shell out big $$ just to see your fancy web page, I’ll visit another one. If you’re a business, you’ve just lost a customer.

    Yeah, rendering XHTML and CSS is all wonderful… but if you can’t be bothered to at least offer a plain version without fancy markup (and that’s what the whole issue is about, nothing more: fancy layouts), you are a lazy developer.

  516. anonymous says:

    P H E W! Thanks for listening to the overwhelming feedback. 🙂 Gosh, I may actually consider using IE8 instead of Firefox. Now, please get XHTML and SVG right next, get a public bug tracking system and fix the max no of bugs and we’ve got a real winner in Internet Explorer 8.

  517. someone says:

    Please developer IE8 for Windows 2000 also!!! Please.

  518. anonymous says:

    Thank you. From the comments I see above, it’s all mostly positive feedback. Few are unhappy. When you had decided the other way round, most were unhappy.

  519. This is a very interesting blog. I also heard IE8 is going to parter up with BlingCart who offers <a href="">shopping cart software</a> in order for customers to be able to purchase online safely. This will help boost online sales to online stores.

  520. ANTI-SPAM says:

    Here’s a better shopping cart, which is also free:

  521. Anonymous says:

    IE supported XSLT 1.0 relatively early. Please do the same for XSLT 2.0.

  522. Peter C says:

    Ouch, this has gotta hurt! There was no way this was going to please everyone, but I can’t help but have a bit of a giggle. The hassle that many companies are facing is for one simple reason – they accept IE6 as the ‘company browser’. If they’d not committed to a browser that was so full of bugs and proprietary design, they wouldn’t be faced with such a huge mission to update their intranets, as they wean themselves off IE6. Quite frankly, their lack of foresight has cost them.

    For Microsoft’s part, they’re feeling the heat as they accept that no longer can they dictate their own ideas for web standards. It’s nice to see that it’s a battle lost and that real standards have prevailed. It’s also fascinating that such a ludicrous idea had been seriously entertained, but possibly more fascinating that they’ve realised how daft it actually was. Someone at Microsoft has had both good sense AND the power to correct what would have been a major mistake.

  523. Chaos says:

    is the favicon thing is going to be fixed? or it’s already fixed in IE7??

  524. says:

    Im Januar k�ndigte Microsoft an, dass die Neuerungen und Verbesserungen an der Kompatibilit�t zu Webstandards im Internet Explorer 8 erst durch einen bestimmten HTTP-Header bzw. Meta-Tag freigeschaltet werden m�ssten. Im Sinne der Interoperabilit�t und

  525. I am really curious if the next IE will adhere to the W3C standards at least as good as FF. But anyways IE8 is going to be popular, so webmasters will do something to their sites to work properly with it…

  526. Rasmus Kaj says:

    This is wonderful news, thank you!

  527. NetHawk says:

    Thanks guys for reconsidering! Great job!

  528. SimonL says:

    I can only assume that the vast majority of you who’re applauding this have forgotten about poor ol’ Joe with his small business ’round the corner. Joe built his website himself in 1998 – he’s no expert (far from it), but he did OK, and he’s been able to rely on his website bringing in custom. Joe knows nothing about this fangled ‘rendering engine’ thing, nor does he care – his website looks OK to him.

    Trouble is, now Joe’s website may well break if his (prospective) customers use IE8 – and that means they’ll probably look elsewhere.

    Now you could argue that Joe should’ve gone to a proper web developer – and you may well be right, if his web’s so important. Well, OK, but what about Sara who set-up a website for her local voluntary organisation; Anna who loves to blog about her knitting; or Jim who built a website for his club? They probably won’t even realise their web’s broken (unless they ‘upgrade’ to IE8), and even if they do find out, will they know how to fix it? If not, they’ve got two choices: ignore, or pay-up.

    And what about all those users who ‘upgrade’? Suddenly they’re gonna see loads of ‘broken’ websites. Hmmm, let me see; I just ‘upgraded’ and now the web’s broken – damn Microsoft, they’ve messed-up again. Oh well, I’d better re-install IE6.

    How’s that gonna forward the cause of web standards guys?!

  529. CodeThinked says:

    IE8 will render standards compliant by default

  530. joeboy says:

    While youre at it, how about throwing in some kind of javascript console that you know … doesn’t suck??

  531. EWI says:

    Three cheers for Microsoft getting the willies about EU regulators *ahem* I mean, ‘listening to the community’.

  532. It’s interesting to Microsoft to open to standards.

  533. Andrés Delfino says:

    As I see it, broken pages must die to bring life to standards.

    Standards are not meant to be backward compatible, if some happen to be, better then.

    The good thing about standards, is that you can build stuff on top of them regardless of the knowledge about specific implementations.

    You can’t do that with the old broken pages.

    This is better for everyone who knows how to design a Web page. If Joe made something he didn’t know about it, he shouldn’t have done it. Sorry.

  534. Mitch 74 says:

    @SimonL: about your examples…

    If the website was created before 2001: it will more than likely use ‘Quirks mode’, which hasn’t changed in IE since version 5, and has been kept in IE 8. So, those oldish pages should show up anyway.

    If the page has been made to make use of Strict mode, it stopped working well more than 3 years ago when Firefox started kicking IE 6 around, and stopped working at all with IE 7.

    As it stands, IE 8 making use of a very strict rendering mode won’t break more sites than IE 7 did (which required a bunch of fixes and hacks to work correctly too), and the fix will be easier: disable IE-specific CSS stylesheet, use the Opera/Firefox/Safari one.

    Me, I’ll thoroughly enjoy the addition of :before and :after, as well as more advanced ‘display’ values. I hope the ‘ul > li’ weirdo spacing bug is solved, too.

    I’m not counting on <button> to be fixed though – I guess it’ll only happen when IE finally supports XHTML properly, and developers can make a clean break with IE-old (IE 7-8 don’t/won’t support XHTML).

  535. Bo Weaver says:

    Well it is about time.  Maybe you all are figuring out you not own the Internet.  Broken standards is why I will NEVER use Microsoft again!!!

    Sorry guys your are too late.  I’ll stick to using Solairs and Linux.  They are and will always be standards compliant.

  536. Le fait de ne pas renseigner cet �l�ment meta permettra � Internet Explorer 8 d’utiliser son propre mode de rendu standard, � savoir celui qui a r�ussi le test Acid2.

  537. nemo says:

    @Mitch 74

    Regarding <button> – I sure hope it is fixed.  Right now I’m giving IE8 the benefit of the doubt and *not*

    invoking IE8.js on it just to get reasonable failover for (non-IE) non-javascript based button navigation.

    The <button> tag is a lot more flexible too.

    However, if IE8 fails to support this, oh, and application/xhtml+xml  – I suppose these things will have to be hacked in for it.


    Picking and choosing what of the common non-IE browser features to support is just asking for trouble.

  538. Miguel Ventura says:

    I know that one more comment saying how glad someone is about such a decision won’t make much of a difference, but still I couldn’t just read this and not give my appreciation to the excellent news!

  539. nemo says:

    Oh, the testcase linked to isn’t the best at demonstrating, since he also fixes the failure of IE to only submit the value for the clicked on submission.

    This is behaviour that works in the other browsers, not just Gecko, and is the one that is convenient for <button> based navigation.

    It would be unfortunate if once again IExxx.js was ahead in feature support.

    (and yes, I’m aware a simple javascript can’t come close to handling truly complex CSS – it does darn well at simplifying the edges though, and reducing code in condcoms)

  540. Andrew says:

    Thanks guys, this is a big step in the right direction for everyone. Looking forward to IE8 now!

  541. reinux says:

    Today at Microsoft:

    -Singularity released on CodePlex

    -Third party PowerShell GUI completed

    -IE8 is announced standards compliant

    Best day in a long time, no?

  542. Rafael says:

    Excellent news, thank you!

    As I posted just a minute ago in the blog I read about it: by adhering to the standards you will be addressing the problems the hacks are pointing, and the hacks themselves (given they are applied by the way of bugs). Killing two birds with one stone.

    Now, there’s always bugs in software, and also decisions made to point out some "undefined behaviours" in the standards themselves (decisions that differ from browser to browser). As such, having a way to address them separately is not a bad idea, just for the sake of being practical (i.e. for real world tasks).

    It would be nice if you implemented some way to identify your rendering engine and its version, something similar to what Opera does by adding "opera". So if we could have something like a "ie80" class applied by default to the HTML element, that would allow us to address IE 8.0’s specific issues without the need of anything else.

    Although you have conditional comments (a good approach) and there’s also the possibility of adding such class with JS, I’m one to believe that CSS issues should be addressed by means of CSS alone, and not by changing the HTML (Conditional Comments) or requiring JS to be active (presentation and behaviour shouldn’t be dependant from each other). This is, AFAIK, the principle between the very existence of HTML, CSS and JS.

    As everything else here is just an idea, but give it a thought, please.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. Are you planning on implementing CSS3 by the release of this new engine? 🙂

  543. Indeed, great news!  "Much, much better" standards and no version targeting.  I have only one more thing to ask for: fix gamma correction in PNGs.

    …and maybe border-radius 😉

  544. mocax says:

    If a website works fine in both IE6/7 and Firefox without any explicit version checks, it’ll work for IE8.

    Those who used browser checks should seriously reconsider their design.

    If IE8 is as standard compliant as boasted, I’d be reliefed that we can finally break out of the "lowest common denominator" ceiling in website design 😀

  545. Ajay Pathak says:

    Nice Info u can find more information here Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Beta 1 is available for download. it’s a new version of Microsoft browser.This new version has some significant improvements as compare to previous version of the Internet Explorer.

  546. Aaron Mills says:

    This is the right decision.. and a good day for web developers everywhere

  547. Ched says:

    Too late. Firefox for life, now.

  548. WarpKat says:


    If existing standards aren’t to be followed, then they’re useless to everybody; so why have them?

    Your attempt at knocking me down was futile, at best.  Come back tomorrow.

  549. RM says:

    I could kiss you.

    Well, not really. But I’m very pleased that IE 8 will behave itself by default 🙂

  550. Miguel Bento says:

    Thaank you!! Any change you would have native SVG and support application/xhtml+xml MIME type ?

  551. With this decision the IE8 rendering isn’t the only mode they’ve changed… They’ve also gone from dominance mode to survival.

    OK, may be that was a bit strong, but they are only doing this because they know people have alternatives, and they can no longer control how people see the web.

    <a href="">vftw</a&gt;

  552. Stephan says:

    Great News! See the enormous wave of relief you’re kicking off here? You made the right decision. Thumbs up! 🙂

  553. Greg says:

    Thanks so much for listening to the feedback of Jeremy Keith and others on this issue. I was pleasantly surprised but this when I read it this morning.

  554. tbboling505 says:

    I was looking at the features and screenshots of the new IE8 Beta and do understand the progress of its features, but I think they’re stealing too much of what FireFox does already, What I think the Internet Explorer Team should do, is add the following features…the following would make the browsing experience a lot more enjoyable and competitive…I Think


    An integrated bandwidth accelerator (Surfing at blazing speeds)

    A built in spyware/virus checker

    A completely revamped user 3D like interface (More user friendly)

    Built in blog editor (Since almost everyone blogs now at days)

    the ability to use less resources than the current IE7

    Customized homepage builder, not like a my yahoo or a my msn homepage, but where you can virtually create anything on your page, even customized to changing the name of your search engine and adding your own backgrounds, images, etc.

    If the IE8 team did some of the examples stated above, I think it could possibly beat FireFox, they need something to call their own, something that no other browser has done before. Of course this is only the some of the features I would like to see, so it probably doesn’t matter any.

  555. Approfittando del mio vantaggio in termini di fuso orario sono in grado di segnalarvi in tempo reale

  556. K Rutten says:

    I’m looking at this article with awe and shock.  Microsoft is breaking existing work again but this time they are not the source.  I am thrilled Microsoft is fixing their browser and making it standards compliant (its about time).  Sadly by defaulting to Standards mode means I won’t see IE8.

    Currently I have Firefox installed as my main browser and IE6 installed as my secondary (with IE7 in VMWare).  One of the companies I work for uses software like ClearQuest, Rational, Sharepoint and has major compatibility issues with IE7.  Some issues were fixed with patches, but others will not be fixed.  All the tools work perfect in IE6 but only some work in IE7.  Software like Clearquest has a high cost to upgrade but has years of data we can’t simply abandon.  Any tools written with software like IntraWeb cannot be fixed with notepad (any more then ASP pages with COM components can be changed without recompiling).  Currently they still have a ban on IE7 (they even filter it from Windows Updates in the proxy) because they are still trying to get patches.  What happens when IE8 arrives?  This will all start over again.  Users here with Vista sometimes need to run XP in a VMWare to access some tools that refuse to work with IE7 yet.  Dumping a product that only work in IE6 is not easy if you can’t move the data (plus the cost to retrain the users).

    As developers, this is great for us.  We hold the customers balls in our hands.  With the release of IE8 in standard mode and Microsoft pushing it, companies will be forced to pay top dollar for the little patches to fix existing software or even more to replace software they can’t get patches for.

    I develop in Ruby on Rails so I can add that line to put IE8 in Quirk mode while I figure out what standards they actually implemented this round but companies I work for have tools and site written in other manners, some can be fixed, some need patches.

    I read the comments by @Dennis and SimonL and they seem understand what many here don’t.  If switching to a standards compliant browser means losing the tools you need to do your work (hoping a patch is released) means sides will lose.  As I said, I run both IE and Firefox, viewing new pages in Firefox because I’m waiting for *ALL* tools to work in Microsoft browsers newer then IE6.  If IE7 had the switch to view IE6 pages we could have upgraded.  If IE8 had that switch (that doesn’t require changing the tool) we could switch.  Thankfully I can run one version of IE in a VM but that’s a pain.

    Another way to put this is:  Any site that you can change to include the “quirk mode” tag you most likely have enough access to make it standards compliant.  Any site you don’t have access to add this tag you certainly won’t have access to fix the rest of it.

    It looks like I’m have another VM installed soon just to run another version of IE.

  557. Ja, vid det här laget har du säkert hört talas om Microsofts utspel om att skippa idén de hade om att kräva en metatagg för att få utnyttja "senaste standard" i den kommande IE8.Från mitt perspektiv känns det som…

  558. Ryan says:

    A great deal of thanks, I hope that the responses in this forum will help encourage decisions like these in the future.  Excellent work.

  559. thank you! this is wonderful news 🙂

  560. Dean Hachamovitch, GM of the IE group, unveiled IE8 for the first time today at MIX08. There are lots

  561. Ian says:

    "Tuesday, March 04, 2008 1:42 PM by Javier

    I would be honor if you guys take my ideas into consideration…"

    Javier: That just looks horrible, takes up far too much space and would be an annoyance to web browsing. It aint MS Office, it’s a WEB BROWSER!!!

  562. Ian says:

    K Rutten: That is a valid point, and putting a pull-down option on ie8 or similar and allowing the user to select ie8 mode, ie7 or ie6 would be a major fix for anyone running old software.

    Or even if you can choose to run a domain on a certain engine. That would fix alot of intranet issues etc.

    That way everyone could move to ie8 and even the oldies with out-of-date software will be happy.

    This is a perfect solution actually.

  563. Paul says:

    Great decision, very welcomed! (as scores mentioned above)

  564. LeberMac says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the very first post: That’s great. When will you support alpha transparency in PNG?

    When will you allow plugins (a la Firefox)?

    When will there be a clear model for how IE 8 interprets CSS?

  565. Christian Baptiste says:

    I will believe it when I see it, we saw articles with the same promise when IE 7 was in Beta. Yes 7 was better but far from W3C compliant.

    IE has become so bad that literally it crashes while opening on every machine I have.

    I was a strong supporter of IE for a long time,,,, now I don’t believe Microsoft when they promise features since their reputation shows that they almost never deliver.

    Like I said I will believe it when I see it!

  566. I’ve died and gone to web developer heaven.

  567. Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 is Here!

  568. "One issue we heard repeatedly during the IE7 beta concerned sites that looked fine in IE6 but looked

  569. It will be interesting to see the reaction to our announcement that IE8 will have improved support for

  570. youfoundjake says:

    I already like IE8, just finished writing a post about the beta release.

    Unfortunately I had to write it twice since during the save and continue editing function, I lost all the text except for the Title aspect.

    But, its still in Beta, so it’s cool

    I like the bold URL function.

    Cant wait to try out the webslices feature

    Thanks guys.


    admin panel for WordPress is blown out to the left in IE8, for what ever that’s worth.

  571. Johann Heyne says:

    Thanks for bringing some developer features in IE8. But something seams to be still wrong: watch the page in IE8. May there is some work left on the IE8? Looking forward…

  572. It will be interesting to see the reaction to our announcement that IE8 will have improved support for

  573. blah says:

    I’m stunned by the naive assumption by so many that this is because Microsoft have "listened to the community". Have you been blinded by the joy? Clearly there is something in it for them or they would NOT NOT NOT be doing it.

    Listening to the community … ??


  574. design says:

    Don’t lie us, in every IE release you promise that there will be web standards support, but at the end of the day, we the developers struggle the most.

  575. Ie8 will suck anyway – hahaha – dont lie tu us

  576. Nothing you can do will change our opinion says:

    You’re scum, plain and simple.

    You could easily implement proper CSS support, but you just won’t.

    You make thousands of developers and designer lives a living hell with your stupid browser and your backward approach to the web.

    I absolutely despise you.

  577. Mike says:

    Please add SVG support! It’s part of the W3 standards, and it’s in Firefox and Opera.

  578. Devin says:

    I will go as far as to say that this is a step in the right direction for humanity! We can start focusing on what the interfaces do rather than making the interfaces look the same in every browser. YAY FOR SOCIAL EVOLUTION!!! Oh – by the way – can you please support the pseudo classes :first-child AND :last-child

    That would be lovely.

  579. Anonymous says:

    SVG is hot as I can see, how to deny it?

    Any excuse now?

  580. BoltClock says:

    Praise the Lord! Thank you, thank you, thank you, developers for listening to us finally! Earth shall now realign to orbit and last a couple billion years longer…

    I take back my harsh words that I wrote in your previous IE8-and-standards-related post. Sorry, and again thank you for this great news.

  581. Bill says:

    So, this means that IE8 will ship with an IE7 rendering engine as well as the latest IE8 engine, I assume. Will IE9 then ship w/ an IE7, IE8 & IE9 version as well?

    I assume once developers stop supporting the IE7 mode, you could leave support for that out; but when would that happen? Maybe by version 20?

  582. Ms2ger says:

    I hadn’t expected it anymore… Not really used to IE developers listening to the community 😉

  583. Για όλους τους web developers και web designers είναι ίσως τα καλύτερα νέα που έχουν ακούσει τον τελευταίο

  584. LLLiki says:

    I’m not going to push my luck with the newly released Acid3 Test, but Acid2 successful render for IE8 would be wonderful.

  585. Isotoma says:

    After the furious controversy and rationalisation unleashed by Microsoft&#8217;s embrace of version targeting from IE8 onwards, we were thrilled by their u-turn on the decision yesterday. Instead of acting like IE7 unless instructed otherwise, &#8220;IE8

  586. Tom Wright says:

    SVG support is critial. SVG is an amazing file format as it provides much higher quality than any others whilst being smaller

  587. Alan Gresley says:

    I could presume that you will never make it this far through all this applause. My simple reply.

    Thank you!

  588. Derek Kent says:

    Well, I just downloaded and tested the IE8 beta briefly.  Granted it is a beta, but I found it actually mangled my web site worse than IE7 (which is fully XHTML 1.1 compliant… modified header for IE though since it doesn’t support xml).

    IE8 did indeed pass Acid2, although it clearly has a LONG ways to go before it even begins approaching the other browsers in terms of standards compliance.

    It scored a 17/100 on Acid3 and mangled the rendering pretty badly and stalled on 7/100 for a few seconds.  Comparatively the last nightly build of web kit I downloaded scored a 90/100 and looked nearly perfect.

  589. Gary says:

    Great news Dean, Chris and team.

  590. Soulhuntre says:

    "But sadly, there are still features in HTML/XHTML and CSS that displays differently between these browsers, even though the code is written correctly, according to W3C recommendations. Why is that"

    Because the standards are in many places vague, incomplete or contradictory. The actually isn’t a single, correct, implementable standard.

  591. SimonL says:

    Well; just as I thought – it broke the web.

    It broke my site; slightly broke alistapart; broke Microsoft Marketplace; and wouldn’t even be accepted onto Windows Update!

    Now; my employer has several web solutions that I have no control over. They’re in-front of the public, and they break. Now do you care to tell me that defaulting to standards mode was a good idea again?…

    As for implementing standards – why on earth can’t browser builder get together and agree on an interpretation. Heck, you don’t even need to get together – just make IE render the same as Firefox (go on, you know it makes sense).

    BTW: Love that scroll-wheel bug (try scrolling down the page when a set of links travel under the pointer – LOL, that’s real funny!)

  592. SimonL says:

    For all you who say this is a good idea, and that people who don’t understand web standards shouldn’t be building website for themselves/their clubs anyway – I just noticed that lots of WordPress blog sites also barf in IE8 too…

  593. SimonL says:

    Here’s a thought — if you’re going to default to standards mode — please make sure IE8 *doesn’t* apply any IE CSS hacks.

  594. jun says:

    Just  face it, you can’t slap in more spaghetti code into the old IE codebase.  you’re going to have to rewrite the thing from scratch.

  595. Για όλους τους web developers και web designers είναι ίσως τα καλύτερα νέα που έχουν ακούσει τον τελευταίο

  596. Derek Kent says:

    SimonL: All those Word Press pages are barfing in IE8 not because the pages necessarily have errors in them, but because IE8 isn’t rendering them properly.  My page is one of those barfing in IE8 and it’s fully XHTML 1.1 compliant, although I send a 1.0 STRICT header to IE (which it of course also complies with).

    Hopefully this is a symptom of being  a beta and not representative of what IE8 is going to be like come release.  If it’s this bad with regard to handling CSS when it’s released, then I’d suspect uptake of IE8 will be even slower than IE7.

  597. Bart says:

    I’m looking forward to face big problems with all current live sites ONCE more instead of hacking browser dependant solutions on a daily basis as is the case now.

    Being a tad skeptic, I’ll post you my ‘thanks a bundle’ when I actually see it happen.

  598. SimonL says:

    My point exactly! If that’s the way IE8 renders in ‘standards’ mode, then M$ will have a lot of explaining to do.

    Not everyone who uses the web knows or cares how HTML & CSS work – they use stuff like WordPress – over which they have little control.

    They can’t expect to get away with this – the only solution is to test their rendering against the most used non-M$ browser. If IE8 does anything different from Firefox, they’ve got it wrong (IMHO).

  599. Josh A. says:

    Do you guys realize you’ve been thanked 84 times so far?

    You deserve every bit of praise you get, this is truly fantastic news.

    It’s the best thing to ever come out of you guys.

    When IE7 came out, I though you did a great job improving the interface and adding features like tabs, OpenSearch support, feeds, etc., and improved the design tons, but I was disappointed that the standards support hadn’t improved much (apart from the few CSS fixes and PNG alpha transparency support; they were nice tasters of great things to come).

    And now with IE8, first Acid2, then this – thanks, seriously, you’ve made my day (again).

  600. Raul Macias says:

    I see a different Microsoft from, let’s say, 10 years ago.

    The realy good news is that now they are listening AND responding.

  601. timperi says:

    The sad thing is, IE6 is still here, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I will still have to hack for IE6 a long time.

  602. Maureen says:

    I agree with those who are concerned regarding this ‘progress’ which Microsoft is making.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…and there are those of us out there who have more to do while running their business than constantly update their site to _stay_ in business, thanks to these bits of ‘progress’…

  603. Michael Cole says:

    Good to hear you’ve been listening to the web community.

    Please fix up the rendering issues with Outlook 2007.

  604. Derek Kent says:

    @Maureen: This really is progress, and it’s good for your business too.  Previously, your web site was at the mercy of Microsoft’s whims.  You only have to look at the history of IE to know that Microsoft was willing to change standards on its own and break things without much regard for you.  It probably has also made your development costs more expensive than they should have been and has still potentially left many customers seeing  a broken web site.

    Now, assuming Microsoft actually fully does support standards, you’ll be able to have a web site developed once properly and it will work on every browser and won’t break on a whim.

    In the short term Microsoft may be breaking it again on you, but in return you’re getting a commitment that should prove a lot better return on investment than any of the previous models in the long term.

  605. Hallelujah. Glad to see the IE Team can reverse a call without pride getting in the way.

  606. Paul says:

    WOW!! Thank You!!

    This is a breakthrough to you guys!!

  607. Chris says:

    I would wait and watch till IE8 is released.

  608. Ned says:

    While we’re at it, please can you tell us when Microsoft will start writing web pages that actually conform to web standards rather than pushing proprietary technologies such as ActiveX? I should be able to choose what browser I use, and if I happen to be browsing on a UNIX machine then a website using ActiveX isn’t of much use to me (unless you plan on releasing the source code for IE 8 in the near future).

  609. Jean says:

    Thanks !!! A web developer tired of ie specific hacks and meta

  610. Lee says:

    Great, When I heard the innitial idea I thought it was about time microsoft stopped making browsers.

  611. Microsoft’s Monster (IE6 and Disappearing Margins)

  612. Great to see things happening.

  613. Great to see things happening.

  614. larsf says:

    wow, these are great news, thanks a lot! 🙂

  615. Neale says:

    I’m glad Microsoft has seen sense and is moving forwards.

    I somehow suspect that another record fine is not what MS want, which is possibly what could have happened if they’d forced developers to put proprietary tags in, when the browser in question has gained it’s dominance not on merit, but on monopolistic business practices.

    So.. if MS finally recognise that acting with integrity is the way to go, then perhaps US presidents will start doing likewise 😉

  616. Leyton Jay says:

    I’m glad to see Microsoft is starting to take its responsibility to end-users and society as a whole more seriously.

    However, as a Web Developer with experience of and to be honest – a hatred of IE; I wont believe it until I see it.

  617. Vnsteam says:

    IE 7 no good for me! i hope IE 8 not like IE7:d

  618. Pet Pixels says:

    I somehow missed Microsoft’s announcement that (in a complete U-turn from previous announcements) IE8 will support web standards mode by default, and thus any broken sites will have to enable IE7 mode by a meta tag. So finally, IE will cease to be the

  619. gnr says:

    IE8 will behave like IE8 … wow that’s a great idea.  You rock!

  620. Geoffrey Longman says:

    great, so by default all existing pages that are hacked and tweaked to work in the pre IE 8 world will break? Sounds like the standards fanboys have screamed the world into the worst possible result. crap. utter crap.

  621. Geoffrey Longman says:

    new tag line, ‘IE 8, the vista of browsers’

  622. Marc says:

    I tested a RTL site with IE8b1 – and to make it short – NOTHING is working like it should. Firefox, Safari, Opera and IE6, IE7 working mostly  perfect/good and not nothing is working any more. You should really spend some time on this and many many other bugs. "Alpha 1" is a better version name for V8b1.

  623. You’re about to see the mother of all flamewars on internet groups where web developers hang out. It

  624. 你们就要看到由web开发者挑起的网上“口水仗之母”了。它会让斯大林格勒战役看起来就好像是你的嫂子在下午茶时分冒着暴雨出门去你祖母家并把野马拴在树上一样。

  625. So after using IE8 for a while now, there are a few things that are useful for people to keep in mind.&#160;

  626. IEBlog says:

    With the release of IE8 Beta 1, I’m pleased to be able to talk about the first round of improved standards

  627. Wriju's BLOG says:

    With IE 8 and strong CSS 2.1 compliance, the sites which used to run perfectly fine with IE 7 might break.

  628. IEBlog says:

    Bill Gates’ recent Tech Ed keynote and Tony Chor’s follow-up blog announced that IE8 Beta 2 will be available

  629. IEBlog says:

    Yesterday at Tech Ed IT Pro 2008 in Orlando we announced some of the enhancements we’re making in Internet

  630. Scheinbar ist geplant, dass der IE 8 früher veröffentlich wird als erwartet und da bekanntlicherweise der IE 8 die Webseiten anders korrekt rendern wird, werden einige Webmaster sich etwas erschrecken. Dazu noch folgende Links: Warum

  631. If you did not know Microsoft is currently working on Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), you may ask why a new

  632. Internet Explorer 8 will render with ‘super standard mode’

  633. IEBlog says:

    At the start of the Internet Explorer 8 project we made a commitment to great website compatibility.

  634. I’ve been wrestling with this for a little while now and wanted to try and get down some thoughts so

  635. Ok, once again some information regarding the new IE8. This product is occupying me quite a bit however

  636. The next public update of Internet Explorer 8 includes improvements to Compatibility View that help end-users

  637. says:

    The New Browser (or is it platform) Wars

  638. Internet Explorer 8 will render with ‘super standard mode’

  639. &#160; &#160; 올랜도에서 개최된 Tech Ed IT Pro 2008 (영어) 에서 Internet Explorer 8 을 조직내에서 배포, 관리하기 위해, 몇가지 기능을

  640. WOMBAT says:

    Why Internet Explorer 8 disappoints web developers

  641. &#160; &#160; Internet Explorer 8 계획을 시작했을 때, 웹 사이트의 호환성을 유지하는 것을 공약으로 했습니다. 이 공약은 여전히 유효하고, Microsoft

  642. If you have recently upgraded your Internet Explorer to the latest and greatest final version 8 , apart

  643. If you have recently upgraded your Internet Explorer to the latest and greatest final version 8 , apart

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