Internet Explorer 8 breaks what must be every 3rd page I look at. The point of this early release was, I presume, to give website owners the chance to update their sites so it wouldn't be such a hassle for the final release.

Has anyone actually done this?

Is anyone even planning on doing this?

I have yet to notice any of the big sites like ebay, myspace, facebook and so on bother so why will smaller sites if they can just use the compatibility mode?

I think i'll do it with mine, but how can you have your site compatible with IE7 and 8?


Historically with Microsoft, the betas have been stricter at rendering pages in standards mode than the browsers' final releases.

The idea is that in the preview stage developers are the only ones looking, and MS will try to make them fix their sites by making the stricter mode default on the browser. But when it comes time to release a final version to the users, they generally enable a compatibility mode that makes all the pages that never got fixed still work.

+4  A: 

I've developed a site with IE8 compatibility as a requirement, and it wasn't a problem as long as I tested in IE8 from the beginning. IE8's standards are very close to most other standards compliant browsers at this point.

If you can't (or won't) do that, you can usually get your page or site working in IE8 with a simple meta tag:

<title>Works in IE8</title>
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7"/>
<body>Renders the same in IE8 as it did in IE7</body>

It doesn't always work smoothly - IE8 only notices that meta tag if it's the first tag in the head section, which conflicts with ASP.NET themes. In that case, you can fall back to using server-wide changes to write out the HTTP headers. I wrote about that here.

MSDN has some more information on the ways to handle that:

Jon Galloway

I think the safest bet at this point is to opt out of IE8 rendering; if you use the "IE7 mode" tag on your pages, even when IE8 comes out, it will still use the IE7 rendering, so you won't be left with surprises.

+1  A: 

You can also take a look at aggiorno express for IE8 Compat, it is a free tool that automates the tagging of your site with the meta tag Jon points to, it will also remove the flag once u have got ur pages to render correctly under the standards mode.

The tool supports both a GUI and command line so it is easy to script to tag multiple sites. Worth check it out.


Well, stadards are pretty much a myth. Ther is no one true standard. If you don't believe me, then just read Joel's article on the subject.

Charles Graham

According to Microsoft IE8 passes the Acid2 test. The problem may be that everyone has been so used to IE7's issues that they've created so many IE conditional workarounds that it breaks now that IE8 is getting closer to the standards.

Pierre-Antoine LaFayette
Did you notice the last answer on this question is from 10 months ago? And did you notice IE8 RTM shipped some time ago? -1.
John Saunders