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Microsoft urges developers to tag sites for IE8

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Microsoft has firmed up the date a little for its Internet Explorer 8 second beta, saying the browser is coming in the third quarter.

Nick MacKechnie, a techie at Microsoft New Zealand, blogged the date while telling website managers to get ready for IE 8's planned meta tag. The tag is designed to ensure millions of existing web pages currently working in IE 7 will not break in IE 8.

This is necessary because IE 8 features a new layout engine with "full" CSS 2.1 and "strong" HTML 5 support, with interoperability fixes for the Document Object Model. Older versions of IE use a layout engine that does not comply fully with internet standards.

According to Microsoft, developers can render sites with an IE 7 mode using this code:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7" />

"We are encouraging site administrators to get their sites ready now for broad adoption of Internet Explorer 8, as there will be a beta release in the third quarter of this year targeted for all consumers," MacKechnie wrote.

In March IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch pegged a "summer" release for Beta 2. Third quarter puts the browser between the start of July and end of September. We'll have to see if the IE 8 beta follows in the well-worn footsteps of other new software from Microsoft and begins to slip backwards, this time into Autumn.

MacKechnie provided little by way of technical detail on the second beta. You can find more on IE 8 here

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