back to article Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise

In March, Microsoft announced that their upcoming Internet Explorer 8 would: "use its most standards compliant mode, IE8 Standards, as the default." Note the last word: default. Microsoft argued that, in light of their newly published interoperability principles, it was the right thing to do. This declaration heralded an about …


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Gates Horns

Much ado about not much at all...

... the real kicker here is that they are releasing ie8 so soon after ie7, meaning developers will have to support three iterations of microsoft browsers - ie6, ie7 and ie8.

ie6 unfortunately still has market share bigger enough to make support necessary and we'll be supporting ie7 for at least another 5 years.

All I care about is that ie8 renders the same as ie7 - the last thing I want to do is add yet more to my daily work load.


Seems OK to me

Microsoft's action seems perfectly logical to me. What's the problem?


@Christopher Emerson


IE8 is changing exactly **because** Hakon and others have put so much pressure on MS. Without Acid2, IE8's support for standards would have been much worse...



Sod it, just ban and burn all software that does not comply with proper computer/network operation standards and be done with the lot of them.

How bloody long do we want to live in the stone age anyway, Why even bother to bend your infrastructure around the faults of someone else's dirty work?

Down with compliance modes!

Anonymous Coward


"Without Acid2, IE8's support for standards would have been much worse..."

You think so? It's not like MS don't want to fix the problem.

I have no problem with pressure for change, but this is pressure for the WRONG change at this time.

Paris Hilton

Wow, could you at least try to look a little less biased?

It's a button, not an icon. When you see a page and it doesn't look right you click it, it clearly changes to a pressed state and a whopping big bubble comes up to tell you that the page is being viewed in compatibility mode. And you seriously think this is worth complaining about? It's not even guaranteed to be in the final release, as it's predominantly to get around the fact developers can't have both IE7 and IE8 beta 2 installed on the same machine.



Andy writes: "it's predominantly to get around the fact developers can't have both IE7 and IE8 beta 2 installed on the same machine"

Well, they could if MS would let them, it's an artificial limitation.

Gold badge

Standard mode should be on

These sound to me like bad changes to.

"First thing first, yes Intranet and Internet should be treated differently."

No they shouldn't. Many have been defending Microsoft's decision, saying "Oh it's easy to turn off non-standard rendering mode via group policy." Well, in that case, it'll be easy to turn it ON via group policy; it should be off by default, rendering EVERYTHING in standards compliance mode, to be turned on for those intranets where they use non-standard web apps.

"Secondly, Microsoft did render all Internet websites in standard-compliant

mode. If you did not see the icon when visiting a website, it is even

better, because the webmaster has gone out of their way to tell IE to use

standard or quirks mode exclusively (I just coded my website to tell IE8 to

use compatibility mode by default and the icon did not appear anymore -

apparently Microsoft does this too to Hotmail). So, your claim that they

broke the promiose is misleading. Stop spreading FUD, it will only make you

(and Opera) look bad."

In other words, to make IE8 not show a broken page, "standard" pages are expected to have a non-standard, IE8 specific tag actively put in by the web page developer. I call bullshit on this (although it's par for the course for Microsoft). This button (or icon, I know several people flamed over which it was, but I don't care which..) should NOT be a broken page -- a broken key is used for sites that are insecure, a broken page implies the page is broken in some way. Personally, I would put a "IE7 mode" entry, or "standard mode" entry (DON'T call it compatibility mode, that's confusing, since IE7 is incompatible with so much stuff compared to standard browsers..) Pick that menu entry and you have a quick toggle, along with a place to add/remove URLs for standard versus non-standard rendering.

Thumb Up

IE not as big as someone may seem

Some of the comments said IE has 80% of the browser market. NOT TRUE.

IE6 only has 24.5% and IE7 26% and at least It kan handle PNGs. :)

So have your facts right before you start sounding like an M$ employee.

Somehow standards have a remarkable way of working in every other industry why don't they work on the web. When doing development work it is so nice to have a standard to meet upon. I can always check my compatibility while developing and the client can always check my work by using the same validator.

Hopefully M$ will come to its senses and take care of this or the users using IE must come to there senses choosing a standard compliant web-browser.


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Dead Vulture

Holy crap

Yeah .. Go to the ACID 2 test, Load it, and if you enable "Compatiblity" mode, the the test fails. the "Broken Page" Puts it in IE7 or < mode.

Way to do your research you disreputable hack!

Thumb Down

It's an Effing Beta, Technophobic Whiners...

It makes perfect sense for Microsoft's BETA to be shipped in custom mode, not standards-worshipping mode, because they're wanting to test their experimental technologies, more than the normal stuff.

If you can't understand that, you're not really competent to be commenting on such arcane things. Leave it to the techies.

Another thing you relative net newbies don't realize is that sticking to standards is inferior. You don't remember that, when Netscape had a similar browser dominance, it was in large part because they did NOT stick to standards, but constantly pushed the envelope.

Standards are established by bureaucrats attempting to GUESS what works best. The only way to KNOW what works best is to throw ideas at the real world and let natural selection run its course.

IE is actually maintaining their own dominance, in part, the same way netscape innovating. The people who whine that Microsoft does NOT really innovate are being quite hypocritical when they turn around and complain that Microsoft does not stick purely to bureaucratic standards.

And no, I'm not a Microsoft lackey...I've not only been a web developer since 1995, when most of you guys were barely aware that some internet-thing existed, but have used Linux since 1993, when the kernel was in beta and there wasn't a window manager for X. I use Chrome as my default browser...but this "Microsoft isn't standards-compliant" whining is just pathetic.



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