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IE11 to appear as Firefox to avoid legacy IE CSS

We already know that Internet Explorer 11, the next iteration of the world's most popular browser, will include tab syncing as part of the Windows Blue update, which has leaked onto the Internet. Neowin has also discovered that IE11 will include new code which tells the host website that IE is, in fact, Firefox.

Some websites serve certain versions of Internet Explorer (we're looking at you, 6) with custom CSS code in order to make sure the website displays in a readable way. These practices are known as "CSS hacks" and target IE6, 7, 8 with a different type of CSS code than other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.

Microsoft have replaced the "MSIE" string, which identifies the browser to the website as Internet Explorer, with just "IE," meaning host websites won't be able to use their current CSS hacks on IE11. To further ensure IE11 users don't receive an odd version of the site, Microsoft also included the command "Like Gecko" which instructs the website to send back the same version of the website as they would to Firefox. The results of this update are unknown, especially on websites which are poorly coded. The move is strange, but shows that Microsoft is desperate to clean up Internet Explorer and get away from the awful experience in IE6, 7 and 8. 

Neowin has reached out to Microsoft to ask whether the "Like Gecko" addition (along with the change in user string) will be included in the final build of IE11, and whether the implementation will cause any problems. We will update the article if we hear back. 

Keep in mind, this all could change before IE11 is released to the public.

A screenshot of the new browser user agent string is below, courtesy of Microsoft Collection Book

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