Microsoft announced a change of plans for Internet Explorer 8. A developer published on the IE Blog that the next version of Internet Explorer will support standards from the start:
The software maker said that a planned standards compatibility mode will now be the default rendering engine when IE8 makes its debut. Microsoft has already said that the new browser is capable of passing the Acid2 rendering test.
"We think that acting in accordance with principles is important, and IE8's default is a demonstration of the interoperability principles in action," IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch said in a blog posting.
With IE8, Microsoft plans to have three rendering modes: the new standards-compliant mode, the IE7 rendering engine, as well as an option for displaying older Web sites. Because of the default shift, Web sites that want IE8 to use its IE7 engine will have to add a tag to their site's code.
Microsoft noted that there are some legal reasons for changing course. "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," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said in a statement.