Microsoft is urging developers to tag websites in preparation for the release of IE 8.

According to a post made on an MSDN blog, a public beta of IE 8 will be available in the third quarter of 2008 and it threatens to “render content in its most standards-compliant way by default”. As this is the first time Microsoft has stooped to such murky depths, we are warned that this will play havoc with content written for IE 7. The advice: to implement a specially created meta tag instructing IE 8 to render the content as if it were IE 7.

This is all a lot of fun, I’m sure you’ll agree, and it does seem to offer a pretty straight-forward solution for achieving backwards compatibility. However, given that the two rendering engines are so markedly different, the most excitement will surely be reserved for the future hours spent hacking IE 8 content to display correctly in IE 7. I, for one, can’t wait for that.

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