The IE team announced a change from their previously stated plan for IE 8 ‘involved showing pages requesting “Standards” mode in an IE7’s “Standards” mode, and requiring developers to ask for IE8’s actual “Standards” mode separately’ via a specific bit of meta information delivered per page or at the server level. After a lot of discussion in the community, some of it quite heated, Microsoft has relented. IE8 will now ‘show pages requesting “Standards” mode in IE8’s Standards mode. Developers who want their pages shown using IE8’s “IE7 Standards mode” will need to request that explicitly (using the http header/meta tag approach described here).’
Microsoft is notorious amongst the Web development community for past decisions, some, like their initial decision on this issue, made with the best of intentions; so it is great to see that they are willing to step back, re-evaluate and change their direction when the community speaks up. It is a change from the old days, and alongside their shift regarding open source, I truly hope it is an indicator of the future.