Microsoft seems to be hell bent on making the standards secondary in the name of compatibility. Not a while back, Microsoft had agreed to use the standards mode by default for IE8 after many had opposed the degradation.
If enough users vote a site into IE7 compatibility mode, it will be displayed using that, even if it was built using the standards. If you have built a site using standards and you want your IE8 readers to see it in standards mode, you have to force IE8 into using the standards mode by adding IE8 specific code to it. Otherwise it gets blacklisted for the compatibility mode. So, it is not only the developers now, but even the users will have to face the music. Not only will they have to know enough and think about the compatibility view, but they will also have to keep up with the Microsoft’s list of blacklisted sites.
Why is Microsoft asking us to add IE8 specific code to be compliant with standards? Or as Microsoft says, developers have to work to make the sites IE8-ready. The Web is not about standards anymore, it is about IE. Microsoft is acting like a developer whose job is more about the job safety. It is using its old mistakes to justify its misbehaviour, posing the standards against the users and asking rest of the world to be help them do it!
If this is an improvement, as they say, I hope users move away from IE to use other browsers which support and encourage standards.