EU Fine Expands Microsoft's Support for Web Standards
Microsoft is serious about its newfound commitment to interoperability–serious enough to make Internet Explorer 8 Web standards-compliant out of the box.
In a complete reversal of earlier policy, the software giant has decided to make IE8 default to a standards-compliant mode of rendering Web pages that favors interoperability, rather than an IE7 rendering mode that favors Microsoft (MSFT). “Microsoft recently published a set of Interoperability Principles,” Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch wrote in a post to the IEBlog. “Thinking about IE8’s behavior with these principles in mind, interpreting Web content in the most standards-compliant way possible is a better thing to do. We think that acting in accordance with principles is important, and IE8’s default is a demonstration of the interoperability principles in action.”
Quite the change of heart. Guess a record $1.35 billion in antitrust fines changes your perspective on these things. Certainly, Hachamovitch implies as much in his post. Writes Hachamovitch, “While we do not believe any current legal requirements would dictate which rendering mode a browser must use, this step clearly removes this question as a potential legal and regulatory issue.”
It certainly does. And if you don’t believe Hachamovitch, just ask Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel. He said exactly the same thing, using exactly the same words in a company press release announcing IE8’s Web standards compliance.