Windows Internet Explorer 8

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At some point, long ago, when Microsoft ruled the browser universe, some genius over there decided to give a big middle finger to all of us designers and our so-called “web standards”. The result is that things just don’t look the way we as designers intend in IE: CSS elements don’t render properly and various functionality breaks down forcing us to implement IE-specific hacks and tweaks to make it all work. Well, MS, in their infinite wisdom, have finally decided to back down and have announced that the forthcoming eighth iteration of their Internet Explorer browser will embrace web standards. What a novel concept! Embracing web standards in a web browser? What will they think of next?

This certainly is cause for some celebration, no more tweaking and comparing, writing IE-specific code to make things look right across all the browsers. But wait, we’re dealing with IE here, so of course there’s a problem with this new development, sort of the last stand of IE’s stubborn unwillingness to play by the rules. Because IE8 now adheres to normal web standards, it can actually break sites that were written to accommodate it’s older versions. Thankfully the solution is an easy one and Ed Bott has a great article over at ZDNet explaining the issue and how to apply the rather simple fix (one line of code!). We’re not out of the woods yet, but at least we can look forward to a day when the IE8 install base becomes large enough that we can all but forget about making our sites look pretty for the previous, less accommodating versions.  http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=619

Get the Beta version here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/Internet-explorer/beta/default.aspx

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