‘IE8 compatible’ – the cure for web standards headache?

Microsoft is reported to be seeking public opinions on IE8’s future web Standards (W3C) compatibility.

I think it is a good thing that Microsoft is finally admitting the fact that all previous versions of IE are not web Standards (W3C) compliant. Note that IE7 is on the road to the right direction, but it is way too slow compared to IE’s competitors: Safari, Opera, FireFox, Camino, OmniWeb, etc.

Now Microsoft is using a blog to seek the public’s (particularly web site developers’) opinion, is definitely seen as a good thing. I too somewhat agree, but the fact that Microsoft wants to avoid breaking these same developers’s web site with IE8 is the wrong focus.

Microsoft should be encouraging these developers to fix their web site, so that they are W3C Standards compliant and pass all W3C tests, and to promote the web (W3C) Standards behaviour for all elements of a web page. What Microsoft should NOT be doing is to continue to encourage these same developer to make lazy and sloppy code for their respective web sites.

I for one vote for Microsoft to be “heavy handed” in making IE8 100% W3C Standards compliant. For any features that are not yet W3C Standards compliant, Microsoft should not release them.

Microsoft should follow its own track record of doing the technically correct thing, like in Windows Vista’s security, rather than always focusing on backward compatibility. Doing the latter will further worsen the sloppy code that are generated by so many web site developers.
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