Internet Explorer 8: Will support CSS, lukewarm on ECMAScript!

In a report in this week’s Technology Guardian (March 13, 2008), Tim Anderson discusses Microsoft’s announcement that Internet Explorer (IE) 8 will be standards compliant by default after all. This is a reversal of its previous position which was that it would be IE 7 compliant by default to avoid “breaking the net”. (To become standards compliant, web authors would have to set a tag in their code: this is known as Version Targetting and was seen by some Web Standards Advocates as a minor threat while others were less sanguine.) Whether the turn around is a result of lobbying by the web standards community, or whether it’s a result of a general policy of “support for industry standards and data portability.” is arguable, but the decision seems to be a victory for web standards – at least up to a point. Microsoft’s concentration on its rich web application framework Silverlight seems to be deflecting support away from the emerging ECMAScript 4 standard. So the CSS headaches may have gone away with IE 8, but cross-browser JavaScript may still be some way away!