From Dean H. over on the IE Blog:
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).
There is also a press release here. This is great news for the web standards community... but not-so-great news for the billions of web pages out there. You guys have fair warning now... better update your DOCTYPE if you want to show users a consistent experience.
Reaction? QuirksBlog says: "Isn't that something? The IE team is listening."
Speaking of web sites and compatibility, a friend of mine discovered that Verizon Wireless' "My Account" site has been inaccessible from Firefox for over a week. So far, Verizon won't even publicly acknowledge the issue, or inform their users on the login page. They just make their users think that they are stupid by erroring out on login. I wonder how long it will take to fix it...