Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise

In March, Microsoft announced that their upcoming Internet Explorer 8 would: "use its most standards compliant mode, IE8 Standards, as the default." Note the last word: default. Microsoft argued that, in light of their newly published interoperability principles, it was the right thing to do. This declaration heralded an about-face and was widely praised by the web standards community; people were stunned and delighted by Microsoft's promise.

This week, the promise was broken. It lasted less than six months. Now that Internet Explorer IE8 beta 2 is released, we know that many, if not most, pages viewed in IE8 will not be shown in standards mode by default. The dirty secret is buried deep down in the «Compatibility view» configuration panel, where the «Display intranet sites in Compatibility View» box is checked by default. Thus, by default, intranet pages are not viewed in standards mode.

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The problem isn't about the intranet thing, the problem is due to the fact that if IE8 is in standards mode, there is a broken page icon next to the URL, leading the user to believe that there is something wrong with the page.

Geez - they put this article up and make NO mention of the new memory management of 64 bit NOTEPAD. Maybe this is in another article

Didn't Microsoft fix the Intranet thing? I remember in IE6 all pages showed up as Intranet by default because of my internet over ethernet thing, but IE7 has this fancy nag tag at the first run that tells you intranet settings have been disabled..

(nunjabusiness said @ #35)
The Register couldn't break a real story ... unless it was a fire at their office ... and THEY set it!

That sounds like something Karl Rove would do.

Anyone notice what poster seems to like posting from The Reg most often, if not all the time? Perhaps Neowin needs to take a critical look at its posting staff and work on cutting stuff like this from the site.

(Gabe3 said @ #29)
how long as it been since IE7 came out? MS is rolling out new IE's like people actually care.
Not quite 18 months, as per the release schedule.

Almost Gabe. You ALMOST put 2 and 2 together.

Now, if only I could remember who has a whopping share of the browser market and who doesn't. Hhmmm...... That's a real toughie.

(Gabe3 said @ #29)
how long as it been since IE7 came out? MS is rolling out new IE's like people actually care.

True, there is a lot of love lost.

#1) However, it is STILL the #1 browser
#2) IE7 has shown that MS can strike back in a big way, with IE7 being more secure and reliable than Firefox, Safari, and Opera. (Go check the numbers regarding flaws, updates, and vulnerbilities.)
#3) IE7 on Vista in protected mode is arguably the safest way to browse the internet with any OS or browser.

IE8, has some new features pushing even the imaginations of the Opera and Firefox teams. IE8 is also raw and fast, which will get the attention of some people. IE8 Beta 2 runs circles around Firefox 3 in naviagation and rendering speed.

There is also Flash that runs ok in IE, in contrast to the horrid CPU consuming manner Flash runs in Firefox.(And yes this is Adobe's fault, not the Firefox team, but end users won't know this or care.-This is also why I suggest to FIrefox advocates to get behind Silverlight, as it runs well in Firefox in contrast to Flash.)


(thenetavenger said @ #29.3)
#1) However, it is STILL the #1 browser

Only because it comes packaged with the #1 operating system in the world. Not because people voluntarily chose it, but because they don't care enough or aren't savvy enough to look at alternatives. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

If Firefox or any other browser was the standard, the same would be true of it. Hell, when AOL was a force to be reckoned with, designers had to design their pages for the craptacular AOL browser. Not because people flocked to use it, but because that's what they had (even if they could easily have used any other if they knew how). Same exact phenomenon.

Once I saw the word "intranet" I knew the article didn't know what it was talking about. It makes complete sense that an inTRAnet would not be automatically with the new standards since they are far more likely to not be compliant due to only being able to be accessed within each company with an inTRAnet.

I don't feel cheated at all. I feel it safeguards those non-compliant inTRAcompany webpages since it would most likely take a company a lot longer to update those pages, if at all.

Way to make non-news news. It has nothing btw with defending Microsoft, it has to do with proper facts. I didn't think unprofessional journalism meant totally misguided information.

Not the first time I've seen sensationalist FUD sourced from The Reg or The Inquirer passed off as "news", and not the first time it was posted by Daniel Fleshbourne (I don't mean to bag on ya, but please think before you post this stuff)

Please Neowin, don't stoop to tabloid levels.

Has The Reg ever heard of Group Policy?
Intranets admins can decide if they really want the switched enabled or disbaled.

(warning : whining ahead)
Yesterday i was "warned" by a neowin mod/staff/whatever so i say "it's fine because may be neowin is strict and try to meet some quality" but rethinking about this i found that the very own content of neowin is becoming "lazy" (for not say a harsh word). Just give me a break.
(end warning)

So, yes you can "publish" your own news but the awful truth is even if you spend your time writing or just copypasting a news, still there are little or not chance this will be published, not even a "thanks for your cooperation" or a "thanks but no because..." but other "news" are published (even news not so new). I don't get it.

IMO neowin must refocus their resources, to spend more in the editorial line,spend less in new stupid rules, also less Homer Simpsons, more money for public schools. ;)


ps :anyways, where is it the neowin rules/faq?


Who the hell said it is enabled by default?
It is enabled by default only for intranet sites, not internet sites. Neowin should keep the quality supreme for its news rather than quantity..

In search for ‘news’, sanity and good judgment are lost.

Sadly today I am removing Neowin from my Daily ‘News’ favorites folder. I don’t have time for horribly inaccurate news links, let alone something that any person with any technical understanding would have thrown in the trash can before allowing it to ‘front page’ their site.

The author of this article is either clueless, feeding a personal agenda, or probably both. Can it be that hard to see or fact check for neowin.net?

Apparently...

----

For the non-technical minded, all this article is saying is that IE8 defaults to the current IE standards when it is browsing web pages inside a corporation/company. A lot of companies use a browser interface for their applications inside ‘their own networks’, which is what ‘intrAnet’ means.

Since companies have invested a lot of money into ‘internal’ applications that are IE specifically written, If IE8 didn’t default to IE standards in corporate environments it would break a lot of ‘internal’ applications in major companies, and people would be shouting how IE8 breaks corporate browser standards. (Yes, the Reg would have an article telling you how horrible that is as well.)

Next up on neowin.net: ‘Shocking’ news, boy rakes leaves, exposing naked grass to the sun...

This shouldn't be in the front-page. I guess we should have an option to reject any not-worthy-to-public news that being posted in the front page, similar to the "report this comment" feature.

IE8 is still a beta and is meant to be tested. If IE8 renders every site in standard compliance mode, I'm sure we'll be clicking the compatibility view button enough to make us go nuts. A as-of-now default setting is by-no-means the final decision made by MS.

Its silly how Microsoft is even including an option for !not-standards-compliant. I mean, the whole point of releasing new browsers is to get them more compliant than a previous version. Could you imagine if Firefox 5 was released with a standards compliant mode, that simply uses the previous version's rendering engine?

So, now the CSS/JS hacks normally used for bringing IE browsers into compliance work, but there's another layer of checking that we have to do and remember what 'mode' IE8 is in. Why can't MS just either choose crappy non-compliance or not? How the hell are we supposed to code for 2 additional conditions of IE?

I spend roughly 40-60% of my time wasting away on IE compliance, which includes wildly different IE6 and IE7 rendering. I mean, Safari is on another frigging PLATFORM (including PC because it uses their Apple UI rendering library) and it renders more closely to Firefox and Opera. IE7 was supposed to be more compliant, but you know what? I still spend my time fixing that browser.

It's f@#$%ing ridiculous.

(axebox said @ #17)
Its silly how Microsoft is even including an option for !not-standards-compliant. I mean, the whole point of releasing new browsers is to get them more compliant than a previous version. Could you imagine if Firefox 5 was released with a standards compliant mode, that simply uses the previous version's rendering engine?

So, now the CSS/JS hacks normally used for bringing IE browsers into compliance work, but there's another layer of checking that we have to do and remember what 'mode' IE8 is in. Why can't MS just either choose crappy non-compliance or not? How the hell are we supposed to code for 2 additional conditions of IE?

I spend roughly 40-60% of my time wasting away on IE compliance, which includes wildly different IE6 and IE7 rendering. I mean, Safari is on another frigging PLATFORM (including PC because it uses their Apple UI rendering library) and it renders more closely to Firefox and Opera. IE7 was supposed to be more compliant, but you know what? I still spend my time fixing that browser.

It's f@#$%ing ridiculous.

#1, Maybe microsoft cares about users and web developers so that everything doesn't break on day one.
#2, Maybe microsoft gives a crap about all the corporate intfrastructures that are designed around IE browsers and would choke with IE specific code in standards mode.

Unless you are volunteering to help every company with an intranet or every web site in the world re-write the 'exceptions' code pages, you should probably leave the thinking to people that are affected by this and are involved on a larger scale than your 'blog' that would take you 10 minutes to remove the IE specific coding.

IE8 opens a new door, letting developers abandon 'IE Only' coding and forces them to move to standards based sites, as IE9, won't have a legacy mode. IE8 when released makes things easier, and provides a transition until the world catches up.

From now on, web designers can write standards only sites, and forget the IE7 and previous versions rendering legacy.

Microsoft IS sticking to their commitment, and are providing an easy way for everyone from users to developers to even companies to get there with very few problems. Microsoft are finally doing things 'right' for the 'right' reasons, and idiots like you are the Reg's author are still intent on crapping on anything they do because they either don't get it or have an agenda.

axebox, yah it was really a pain. I'm so glad to see the light that it's finally OVER! IE8 will be both standard-compliance and non-compliance, which means you can code for either one of them. Obviously you're coding for Firefox/Opera/Safari as well so I would say you should just code for them and let IE alone (since IE8 should render stuffs correctly regardlessly).

It's not like MS isn't choosing which side to take, they would rather let IE die with IE6 and get it over with. Since IE is losing market share and all, they know that they have to take on the compliance-road. If they simply push out a IE without backward-compatibility, will people switch immediately? I wont since alot of corporate sites would stop working and I would stay with IE7, nothing will change. That's why, with both compliance and non-compliance enginees, I think IE8 is really having an advantage of keeping the old market and absorbing the new market, and this should give web developers a good time (such as you and me) since we can finally forget IE6 and IE7 once we convinced IT guys to migrate to IE8!!!!!

@Newsposter Daniel Fleshbone...
You've broke some news rules.
Rule 1: never post the register fud articles.
Rule 2: never judge a product or company promise on a beta stage app where they need to test alot!

(sorlag said @ #16)
@Newsposter Daniel Fleshbone...
You've broke some news rules.
Rule 1: never post the register fud articles.
Rule 2: never judge a product or company promise on a beta stage app where they need to test alot!

PLEASE don't try to teach Voodoo / Daniel how to post news. makes you look ridiculous...

Gesh, these register people are rediculous. I wonder if a programmer missed a flag, which caused that checkbox to be checked...

If IE7 is not standards compliant, and a page was written for IE7, then when IE8 reads it, of course it is not going to be standards compliant. A broken page means, Hey developer! Fix your stuff!

Ohh geeze. I thought this was going to be an interesting little tid-bit of news until I read the "Intranet" part. Who freaken cares? It is probably because a lot of Windows Server web applications are not standards compliant. If IE8 is as strict as promised, Microsoft's own web applications would not work for companies anymore, lol.

For everyone complaining about The Reg - note that the article is a Comment/Opinion piece by one of the Opera team (not that it justifies the article as "news")

(_BeanZ_ said @ #12)
For everyone complaining about The Reg - note that the article is a Comment/Opinion piece by one of the Opera team (not that it justifies the article as "news")
It doesn't really make the article less surprising, but it does make me think less of Opera.

Good browser, asshatish company. Seriously guys, you're adults, right? Act like it.

Now, i don't get this. We know that the Neowin Staff are competent enough to screen through bull**** like this. They are tech-savvy people, After all. So why don't you actually start moderating what goes on the main page? Unless you do enjoy sensationalist articles and the page hits.

Are you kidding? It's all about ad clicks and ad impressions now. You must know that. Neowin's been going down this road for years now. This kind of articles are now hitting every single day...sigh.

What a complete non news article - sensationalist headline writing! IE8 still displayed WEB PAGES in standards mode! Get this headline removed from Neowin - we dont want to be associated with such moronic reporting!

Again, what do you expect from the Microsoft hate-mongering idiots at the Register. Can someone please ban these idiot articles from ever appearing on Neowin? A check-box? This is what they've stooped to to call Microsoft promise-breakers?

It's sickening. The Register is filled with this kind of toilet water reporting.

This article is WRONG! That option does not mean that capability mode is used by default, it just allows the browser to use capability mode if requested by the metadata tag on the webpage. Research people!

"Thus, intranets account for about half of all page views on PCs!" - lol?

"Within enterprises, intranets are used for all sorts of things and account for, perhaps, 80 per cent of all page views." Also a good one

erm, yes, so? probably because most intranet pages were made for ie6 and companies would be ****ed off to set the compability themselves? Typical the reg garbage sensational article

(XerXis said @ #1)
erm, yes, so? probably because most intranet pages were made for ie6 and companies would be ****ed off to set the compability themselves? Typical the reg garbage sensational article

I agree , this toilet quality article is not neowin front page news item.

+1

stevember: Plus its still BETA.

Strongly agree. If it's an RTM's default setting then this article would worth something.

Now, for the corporate side, there must be some GPO that let IT admins to centrally manage this compatibility thing since:

Xerxis: most intranet pages were made for ie6 and companies would be ****ed off to set the compability themselves

Standards don't mean much internally to corporates, they just care what works and what not. Also, they only upgrade IE ONLY because of security risks with sites outside the corporate network (ie: Internet), they wont risk to break the current compatibility with a new IE unless it's "necessary" to take the risk.

As for the public, yes it would be best if MS keep its promise by having compatibility view OFF by default, and heck, I really like to have that compatibility view button up there just in case things dont render well. This button here also motivates site admins to make their pages more comply to standards, while giving the visitors a chance to "fix" the rendering on the fly (by clicking the button).

(James Riske said @ #1.9)

And it's still beta quality.

Far from it, Vista is very high quality. Get a clue, why don't you?

(XerXis said @ #1)
erm, yes, so? probably because most intranet pages were made for ie6 and companies would be ****ed off to set the compability themselves? Typical the reg garbage sensational article

Firefox has no problems.

(Shining Arcanine said @ #1.11)

Firefox has no problems.

Except when it comes to Outlook web access.

But it's not like any businesses use that, right? Right?

(Guest said @ #1.13)
Lets face it. . Microsoft is doing what they always do. They want to continue browser lock-in by causing standards compliant web pages to break. To avoid the hassle of trying to instruct people on how to turn off "Compatibility Mode", most companies will still code their pages to fit the default rendering engine of the browser with the most market share. That is business, and it is to be expected.

As far as IE 8 still being Beta. . no one can claim that this article is rubbish just because it is still in beta. It could go either way, and only Microsoft knows which. Compatibility Mode could very possibly be enabled by default when RTW rolls around. On the other hand, perhaps Microsoft enabled it to avoid bogus rendering error bug reports from idiotic testers.


#1) This is a switch IT pros flip with domain policy in the organization, not something they request users to do. (Windows has very advanced central management systems, hence why it is popular in corporate environments.)

#2) The Beta argument has no bearing on either perspective. No matter what 'default' MS leaves in IE8, when companies deploy IE8, they will DECIDE THEMSELVES to enable or not enable this, in addition to add other sites to the compatiblity list. Go look up the IEAK or how IE8 would be deployed on non-home user desktops.

#3) You like others seem to think that 'compatibility' mode is a lock in or something that prevents the people 'coding' pages from putting in a specific tag so they develop using standards based sites. Even with IE7 mode on, if the web site says, I'm IE8 compliant, render without compatibility, the browser understands this.

#4) Go look up the originating tag options for IE8 and how developers can tell the browser how to render the site, no matter what 'mode' the intranet site setting is on IE8.


This article and everyone responding to it with a 'OMG MS is doing it again' has no clue about what IE8 is doing, what is doing by default, how it works or even why it is being deployed this way by Microsoft. Which even is more shocking that people don't even seem to get that intranet is INTERNAL network sites, and only applies to the companies internal home pages and applications.

(thenetavenger said @ #1.14)
This article and everyone responding to it with a 'OMG MS is doing it again' has no clue about what IE8 is doing, what is doing by default, how it works or even why it is being deployed this way by Microsoft. Which even is more shocking that people don't even seem to get that intranet is INTERNAL network sites, and only applies to the companies internal home pages and applications.

Or they have no clue how a business operates. The intranet is low priority compared to other projects. Keeping IE in compatibility mode ensures that I can use my time working on more important projects.

As for Firefox in the workplace: yes, Firefox is better. But IT cannot control Firefox like they can with IE through group policy. That's one of the reasons IE still dominates in the business world.

(thenetavenger said @ #1.14)

#1) This is a switch IT pros flip with domain policy in the organization, not something they request users to do. (Windows has very advanced central management systems, hence why it is popular in corporate environments.)

#2) The Beta argument has no bearing on either perspective. No matter what 'default' MS leaves in IE8, when companies deploy IE8, they will DECIDE THEMSELVES to enable or not enable this, in addition to add other sites to the compatiblity list. Go look up the IEAK or how IE8 would be deployed on non-home user desktops.

#3) You like others seem to think that 'compatibility' mode is a lock in or something that prevents the people 'coding' pages from putting in a specific tag so they develop using standards based sites. Even with IE7 mode on, if the web site says, I'm IE8 compliant, render without compatibility, the browser understands this.

#4) Go look up the originating tag options for IE8 and how developers can tell the browser how to render the site, no matter what 'mode' the intranet site setting is on IE8.


This article and everyone responding to it with a 'OMG MS is doing it again' has no clue about what IE8 is doing, what is doing by default, how it works or even why it is being deployed this way by Microsoft. Which even is more shocking that people don't even seem to get that intranet is INTERNAL network sites, and only applies to the companies internal home pages and applications.

I am the author of the post to which you are responding. Oddly enough, my post was logged as Guest. Regardless.. Lets get on with it, shall we?

#1) I am quite familiar with Active Directory thank you very much. ;)

#2) This whole argument assumes that when I refer to a company, I mean to talk about this issue in the context of corporate intranets. Let me clarify: I mean to refer to how websites are viewed on the Internet. If you think about it, my statement makes more sense in that context anyway. I would certainly hope that any company's IT department would have prevented access to these settings, and would have predetermined this setting according to the needs of their business. Obviously a typical home user's computer will not be subject to an AD domain or it's policy. As far as the deployment of IE8 and this compatibility mode, I imagine by the time most companies do push out IE8, the rendering mode will not be much of an issue. My company still runs IE6. :

#3) In the context of my last statement. . that being of users on the INTERNET accessing WEB SITES, it is most certainly lock in if the article is true. As for your quotes around my use of the word "coding". . What would you call it? Not everyone uses Word or some Web 2.0 homepage builder to create websites. As for a tag that tells IE8 to use standards compliant rendering, for argument's sake this also constitutes tailoring a website for IE8. Why should a content developer put a tag in a page just to tell IE8 to do what it should already be doing? Furthermore, what stops Microsoft from breaking this functionality?

#4) See response 3.

Microsoft is doing it again, where teh internets is concerned, if the article is accurate and this setting remains as-is.

About the whole of the unwashed masses having no idea as to "what IE8 is doing, what is doing by default, how it works or even why it is being deployed this way by Microsoft" . . . did you not acknowledge that since IE8 is in beta, the default setting for this compatibility mode does not matter as the default could still change?

I imagine that many people on this site (the ones with half a brain and a pulse, anyway) understand the difference between an intranet and the Internet. Go take a bubble bath and calm yourself. .

Lastly, let me close by saying that I harbor no more disdain for Microsoft than I do any other company. . I detest the use of M$ or Windoze by platform zealots, and my home includes 4 legally licensed Vista boxes, 4 Linux boxes, original Xbox, and a Xbox 360. My cell phone is a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone. I'm not anti-Microsoft, just anti-bull****.

(Divide Overflow said @ #1.17)

I am the author of the post to which you are responding. Oddly enough, my post was logged as Guest. Regardless.. Lets get on with it, shall we?

#1) I am quite familiar with Active Directory thank you very much. ;)

#2) This whole argument assumes that when I refer to a company, I mean to talk about this issue in the context of corporate intranets. Let me clarify: I mean to refer to how websites are viewed on the Internet. If you think about it, my statement makes more sense in that context anyway. I would certainly hope that any company's IT department would have prevented access to these settings, and would have predetermined this setting according to the needs of their business. Obviously a typical home user's computer will not be subject to an AD domain or it's policy. As far as the deployment of IE8 and this compatibility mode, I imagine by the time most companies do push out IE8, the rendering mode will not be much of an issue. My company still runs IE6. :

#3) In the context of my last statement. . that being of users on the INTERNET accessing WEB SITES, it is most certainly lock in if the article is true. As for your quotes around my use of the word "coding". . What would you call it? Not everyone uses Word or some Web 2.0 homepage builder to create websites. As for a tag that tells IE8 to use standards compliant rendering, for argument's sake this also constitutes tailoring a website for IE8. Why should a content developer put a tag in a page just to tell IE8 to do what it should already be doing? Furthermore, what stops Microsoft from breaking this functionality?

#4) See response 3.

Microsoft is doing it again, where teh internets is concerned, if the article is accurate and this setting remains as-is.

About the whole of the unwashed masses having no idea as to "what IE8 is doing, what is doing by default, how it works or even why it is being deployed this way by Microsoft" . . . did you not acknowledge that since IE8 is in beta, the default setting for this compatibility mode does not matter as the default could still change?

I imagine that many people on this site (the ones with half a brain and a pulse, anyway) understand the difference between an intranet and the Internet. Go take a bubble bath and calm yourself. .

Lastly, let me close by saying that I harbor no more disdain for Microsoft than I do any other company. . I detest the use of M$ or Windoze by platform zealots, and my home includes 4 legally licensed Vista boxes, 4 Linux boxes, original Xbox, and a Xbox 360. My cell phone is a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone. I'm not anti-Microsoft, just anti-bull****.

I am not sure if you are just rambling to reinforce a point or you really do not understand.

#1) Intranet does NOT equal Internet - buy a clue...

#2) Internal corporate sites have a choice, no matter what the default IE8 setting is. MS has decided that if a user in a 'non-managed' company installes IE8 on their own, they won't kill tech support with calls because the company sites they use for work stop working. IT REALLY IS THIS SIMPLE.

#3) The IE8 rendering tags that are 'optional' for web sites, you really don't understand. They give developers a way to direct IE8 users to the standards version of the site instead of seeing IE and directing them to the IEx-7 version of the site. This is a win for users and for site developers that want things to move forward without having to recode anything during the IE8 adoption process.

Breaking from an OLD standard requires a lot of thought and logistics, and MS seems to be GETTING IT RIGHT for once, an yet mis-informed people or FUD merchants are out to paint the 'options' MS is giving people for the transition as backstepping, when it is fully 'stepping forward' to ensure standards mode IS THE WAY THE WEB IS DONE in the end.

If you used IE8 Beta1, you would know that the logistics of the design options in IE8 Beta 2 have been carefully considered, and in fact PROMOTE standards based browsing beyond MS's initial IE8 designs. IE8 Beta 1 'universally' turned IE7 mode on or off, instead of as Beta 2 does that is site by site, with standards mode turning back on for new sites. This forces users to use standards based browsing instead of just flipping the switch to IE7 mode one time and going back to the old for every site as Beta 1 was desgined to do.

Get it yet, or are you just trolling?

(thenetavenger said @ #1.18)
#3) The IE8 rendering tags that are 'optional' for web sites, you really don't understand. They give developers a way to direct IE8 users to the standards version of the site instead of seeing IE and directing them to the IEx-7 version of the site. This is a win for users and for site developers that want things to move forward without having to recode anything during the IE8 adoption process.

If a browser that allegedly renders according to standards receives a standards compliant page and doesn't render it according to standards unless told to by an extra proprietary tag, then it doesn't render according to standards.
The 'optional' tags most certainly are optional. I won't be using them. Ever.

I applaud the decision to make sites viewed in the Intranet zone not believe they are standards compliant unless a setting is changed. This way external sites render in standards mode by default (as they should) and legacy intranet apps don't instantly break.

If you used IE8 Beta1, you would know that the logistics of the design options in IE8 Beta 2 have been carefully considered, and in fact PROMOTE standards based browsing beyond MS's initial IE8 designs.

Damn right. Microsoft's original design was to continue the broken web ideology that has plagued us for nearly a decade. The impetus to PROMOTE standards came from developers, not Microsoft.