• It's just outrageous! Web developers will go mad testing their sites in different versions of IE. Aaargh :S

  • Mike Morley says:

    If this is true… pants. But I cannot say I am overly surprised!

  • Ryan Burrell says:

    "Pants"… that really about sums it up. This is kind of like the ongoing debate of tables vs. CSS/divs for layout. THERE SHOULDN'T BE A DEBATE. Given current trends, how the web is moving, the overwhelming desire for standards… there shouldn't even be a question anymore for Microsoft. And yet, here we sit, our hopes and dreams for a brighter tomorrow waning.

  • This is a disgrace!!!

    It's situations like these that goes to show that as long as scared little businessmen and marketing drones run Microsoft, they will only publish mediocre products long after everyone else have released modern products.

  • bruce says:

    Indeed. As I wrote on my blog, this behaviour and the return of IE 6 as the new Microsoft mobile browser shows that Microsoft haven't "converted" to standards at all.

  • This is a classic move from the Microsoft playbook and doesn't surprise me in the least.

    Microsoft has a long history in the software development and FOSS worlds of paying lip service to standards just long enough to convince the world that MS is standards-compliant, then tacking on a bit more that violates the standards as a way to wipe out their competition. Although it's not a phrase used often any more, the common expression of this was "Embrace. Extend. Extinguish."

  • Jeff L says:

    It's a real shame there is no way to comment on that article.

    What MS is doing now is not at all what their original plan was. Originally, IE8 was going to render as IE7 unless a site specifically opted in.

    Now, IE8 will render as IE7 "be default" ONLY if the end user has opted in to subscribe to the feature, and only if enough people click compatibility view on any particular website.

    It's not even close to the same thing….if your site works in IE8 mode, there is no reason for a user to click on the compatibility mode button, thus you'll never be added to "the list" and there won't be any problems.

    If your site DOESN'T work in IE8 mode, you should be happy! If enough people click the button, you'll be added to "the list" and you won't even have to add the meta tag to make your site work properly.

  • Steven Clark says:

    Mmm now pranksters being what they are – what if our site works perfectly in IE8 (say A List Apart) and people just click the compatability mode out of maliciousness (en masse) or curiosity for how the site might look in IE7?

    Pants is too light a word for this one – it's a job for underpants man! Just when you let your MS guard down they suckerpunch you in the ear… bastards.

  • LOL @ "WTF" … perfect response.

  • Andy Ford says:

    Microsoft leaves a flaming bag of poo on the doorstep of web standards (again).

    I keep checking my calendar to see if it's April 1st or something. How can Microsoft be so utterly moronic?

  • I have a suggestion to all readers of this blog… start sending personal e-mails to authors, urging them to write a followup to the story of Microsoft finally committing to using IE8 Standards mode as default.

    I've personally written to a few authors already … but if we all send out 5 emails, this story might get some traction and put the spotlight back on web standards and IE8.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. I was convinced you'd share the sentiment…

    First, I thought about writing something longer, about why rendering by voting is such an absurd idea etc, but at the end, I decided those three words just summarized it well enough.

  • JMG says:

    Reading Jeff, you could think it's not such a bad idea. But I'm afraid it still is:

    My broken website continues to work in IE8 because it's marked incompatible with IE8 and is rendered in IE7's mode. That's cool! But… what happens when I fix my website, so it works fully in IE8? I have to opt-in. Great…

    Now, what if a group of bad people want to anoy me? They all click on the compatibility button, and my IE8 compliant website is now rendered in IE7. Great, I'm now forced to opt-in, hoping for the opt-in will have priority…

    Previously, the situation was: my website is broken and I can't fix it right now for IE8? I opt-out. I eventually fix my website, I thus remove the meta, continue to opt-out would be stupid, and opt-in was the default. Simpler, better, full control over the mechanism, and the Web was fully going forward (stalling it was my fault as a Web engineer).

  • Ah, the bitterness.

    The implementation of this is so not thought through it smells. Hope it is misused so badly they remove the feature in IE9.

  • Tino Zijdel says:

    The compatibility list is a bad idea, even when it's a user choice to activate it. Today I noticed that our site (tweakers.net) is also listed and I know of no apparent reason for it to be on that list; afaik our site works fine in IE8 standards mode, apart from some glitches that are probably just bugs in IE8 itself… Effectively IE8 gets the same markup and scripting we serve to every other standards-compliant browser…

  • There's no such thing as IE8-ready!

    They should ensure that all sites render and work as in other web browsers!


  • Speaking of… as usual, Microsoft wastes time on money on unnecessary features instead of the most crucial ones….

  • I say we (web developers/designers) simply stop caring if the website works in IE or not and put a big ass banner at the top, for IE users, saying "You are using an outdated browser, please download one of the following [list of other browsers]".

  • Daniel C. says:

    I have tried hard to make my sites work on all browsers, but this bad faith by Microsoft is making me consider dropping support for IE. I really don't want have to test for IE6, 7 and default IE8. I have enough superfluous code from IE workarounds already. IE keeps its market share only because we keep coding for it. When that stops, even the computer illiterate will find they can easily download Firefox or Chrome.

  • […] what’s the issue? You might like the isolani detailed rant about this one, the Robert Nyman link to isolani but with comments enabled, or you could just settle for my very brief pants, pants, […]

  • […] Original Post […]

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