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Rise And Fall Of Version Targeting In Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft backs away from a controversial meta tag plan.

In January, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) announced a controversial plan to include a meta tag switch to enable its rendering engine to use the latest features on future versions of Internet Explorer. This means that the default behavior of IE8 would be exactly that of the previous version, unless the Web page being rendered had a meta tag stating that IE should use the newer rendering engine. The idea was to prevent a repeat of the problems surrounding the release of IE7: After years of living with IE6, which was notoriously buggy, Web designers had come up with common but nonstandard workarounds to trick IE6 into rendering Web pages correctly. IE7 corrected many of IE6's bugs, meaning many pages that corrected for IE6 problems did not render correctly in IE7.

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