Microsoft have just launched Internet Explorer 8 Beta and it has some very interesting features. While other leading browsers like FireFox, Opera and Safari have tried to build their sites with the World Wide Web Consortium’s standards in mind, Internet Explorer, Pre IE7, didn’t actively encourage standards compliance. As a result Web designers have long battled to have their sites cross browser friendly. It looks as though that’s set to change though. It appears now though, that Microsoft are turning over a new leaf.
IE8 beta displays webpages using its latest “Standards mode”. They have stated that although one of main goals for IE8 is CSS 2.1 compliance, it is also forward-looking towards CSS3, which is the next step in the evolution of Cascading Style Sheets and hopes to implement some of the most requested CSS3 features by web developers and designers.
For those designers that aren’t up to date with the latest W3C standards themselves, they have also enabled a way for a site to emulate IE7 behaviour while viewed in IE8. There are two ways to go about doing this:
- On a per-site basis, the designer can add this HTTP header:
- On a per-page basis, the designer can add this meta tag:
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7">
Besides standards compliance, it also features a nifty colour coded tab view, whereby pages opened in a new tab from an existing page become colour coded, creating groups.
You can read more or download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/