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IE7 Compatibility Mode strikes again

28th Aug 2008

The IE team has announced the new IE7 compatibility mechanism in IE8 Beta 2. One thing that really caught my attention is that they're defaulting to IE7 compatibility mode for anything in the so-called "Intranet Zone", which I assume means anything in the local DNS domain.

One obvious problem that springs to mind is that most web developers will be developing their sites on local servers before deploying onto the Internet. Imagine the frustration they'll feel when they deploy their site and suddenly it looks completely different! Also added is the ability to force particular sites into compatibility mode using the "Group Policy" feature, which allows domain administrators to impose settings on computers/users that are members of their domain. This seems like a much better approach: have organisations that have internal apps that won't work in IE8 use Group Policy to force it into IE7 mode. Then the default for the Intranet Zone can be the same as the Internet Zone.

What possible reason is there to treat all domain-local sites differently to Internet sites when you can use Group Policy in this manner? I really hope this is changed before IE8 final.

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