And the web changes again…

Windows Internet Explorer

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All right now, you anti Internet Explorer guys and girls – you know you want to, let’s let out your collective groan. Pause. Done yet? Let’s do another one after you read this.

Dear old Mary-Jo Foley reports on how lots (is 2,400 major sites lots these days?) of websites “don’t render properly in IE 8”. I think “breaking the web” has a bit of theatrical licence but Microsoft has responded by adding a Compatibility Mode feature to IE 8. Someone on the team must have sat at the feet of Raymond Chen.

Anyway, you can now download an XML list for IE8 on Windows XP or Vista that IE 8 will use to auto-detect websites and switch to Compatibility View.

Sooo, now, all you need to do is to install IE8 beta, and test your own websites. But wait…. Is this a side by side install with IE7, IE6? Will it trash your machine? Do you need to multi-boot or run a virtual machine or put your arm behind your head so that you can scratch your ear with the other finger?

Remember the flurry of excitement when someone a few years ago figured out how to install IE versions side by side? And then we lost interest because the need diminished and something broke when IE upgraded?

Well, just today, I saw Cybernetnews highlight the Internet Explorer Collection from the Final Builds Site. I gave it a go, so far, the various versions back to IE 1.5 and up to 8 seem to work.

Now, all you have to do is “simply” rejig your websites, yeah? And test it on Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, Opera Mini, Symbian Web Browser, Windows Mobile Web Browser, your iPhone Browser. Don’t forget your little itty bitty Mac and Linux.

Collectively now, one more time……. Groan!

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