Microsoft is caught in a web-prison of their own design, the Guardian reports. In 2001, IE6’s flawed but ubiquitous programming forced web developers to make two versions of their sites: one that worked with IE6’s quirks, and another that complied with web standards. Pages identified the user’s browser to know which code to provide.
Now that policy is sabotaging Microsoft’s latest browser: IE7 is now standards-compliant, but is identified as IE6 by web pages and served the non-standard, ‘quirky’ code. In response, the firm’s upcoming IE8 doesn't fix the problem but demands that developers put a tag in page headers that tells the browser it knows it can accept standard code—or IE8 will treat the site as if it is being served IE6’s ‘quirky’ code.