A good news from Microsoft for the standards world. There was a rebel from the developers community when IE8 announced that the default mode would not be standards mode, unless it was told to do so through a special tag. Microsoft has paid heed to the developer community and reversed this behavior. Now IE8 will now run in the standards mode by default (via Slashdot).
This treats the non-standards mode as an exception. This means that some existing sites will have to change the code if they want IE8 to run in the old IE7 mode. This might sound like more work, but it gives the developer community a chance to stop treating IE as a special browser. Include the meta tag if you want to specifically target IE7, else treat IE8 as any other browser.
We use various techniques to make browsers run in quirks mode to handle the non-standards legacy Web. And this gets complicated when some of the changes are caused because of special behaviors of browsers. But at some point of time we need to correct the mistakes instead of continuing to carry them with us along with their workarounds. Though this means more work for some developers in the short-term, this step is in the right direction.