Today, Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch posted
about an important milestone in the development of the next version of Internet Explorer, IE8.
As of last week the latest build correctly renders the Acid2 browser test
in IE8 standards mode. Acid2 is one test of how modern browsers work with some specific features across several different web standards, such as HTML and CSS. Showing the Acid2 page correctly is a good indication of being standards compliant, but Acid2 itself isn't a web standard or a web standards compliance test. The publisher of the test, the Web Standards Project, is an advocacy group, not a web standards defining body.
The key goal (for the Web Standards Project as well as many other groups and individuals) is interoperability. And Microsoft has chosen to provide this kind of information about the interoperability of the upcoming IE8 at a time where the company has been critisized for its failure to make IE standards-compliant. The most resent example is Opera's antitrust suit
filed with the EU last week.
Microsoft has not yet confirmed whether the IE8 will integrate Silverlight, the company's technology for flash-like animated graphics, as well as whether it will be available only for Vista operating systems and if there will be non-public test builds of IE 8 available to testers outside of Microsoft. All these will be probably clarified at MIX08 in March 2008, with a beta release due sometime in the first half of 2008.