Mike “Isofarro” Davis noticed that Microsoft have quietly gone back to their original position, requiring developers to use a meta tag to opt-in to having their sites render in IE 8 standards mode, with an extra twist. There will now be a blacklist of sites that will by default be rendered in IE 7 “compatibility mode” (that is, not taking advantage of the extra standards support in IE 8.
The gist of it is if you want to be sure your site renders in standards compliant mode in IE, you have to explicitly opt into it. Otherwise you risk being blacklisted and thrown into IE7 Compatibility mode.
I fought this before I became an employee of Opera, a Microsoft competitor, and speak as a standards advocate and web developer: this is an atrocious state of affairs. Coupled with the resurrection of IE 6 as the new mobile Internet Explorer, it makes Microsoft’s claims to a Damascene conversion to standards seem very empty and insulting.