When Microsoft announced that it would ship Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 in August, the IE team also reminded web developers to ensure their stuff works by then, and supplied a couple of quick-fixes that can be used to tell IE8 to render a page in IE7 mode, which can be specified per-page, or even server-wide.

This was done so that web developers could maintain their normal development cycle, so they wouldn't have to re-engineer their websites based upon IE8's release, they'd just need to add one line of code on any pages that might be effected, or change a setting on the server. Five minutes work, tops.

Simple right, we get a decent browser with good standards support, and an easy way to maintain compatibility, everyones happy right?

Wrong. A quick look over the comments on Mary Jo's article on ZDNet shows something quite different.

Ballmer, fire the IE team... Super-standard mode may be silliest thing IE team's come up with and will make IE lose more market share. IE7 has broken many websites and irritated many site designers. And now IE8 seems to do more. People love simplicity and do not care standard compliance. They hate doing unneccessary work to tweak their well-working website.

Super-standards mode, other than the super name is just standards mode, IE8 rendering a page as close to the standards as possible. Like every other browser, Firefox, Opera etc.

I don't think IE7 "broke" many websites, maybe your websites perhaps. IE7 was a good step forward and fixed many of the layout and positioning problems that plagued IE6. If you fed IE7 the standard-CSS instead of doing what I suspect you did, feeding it on the non-standard-CSS that was hacked for IE6 there wouldn't of been many issues at all. IE7's standards support was good enough so everybody could switch over to using CSS, although of course it was by no means perfect or complete.

Web developers are fed up with having to do all kinds of hacks for older versions of IE. IE8 because it will support the standards as well as any other browser out there will save so much time, we won't have to waste time writing all these different versions of the site for different browsers.

7 versions of windows now 3 different settings in IE, why make life so hard for users?

This doesn't effect end-users. Only developers need to worry about how IE will render a page.

Quirks mode, how Internet Explorer 6 and below browsers rendered pages.
"Standards" mode which I call IE7 mode, which renders things like IE7.
Super-standards mode which renders it like any other browser.

Originally the Doc Type was used to determine how to render a web page, if a browser saw no Doc Type, it would render in quirks mode, if it saw a Doc Type it would render it according to whatever specification was in the Doc Type.

However Doc Type has been poorly used, and often websites are written against completely different specifications than what is in the Doc Type. So IE7 mode tag has been introduced, as a way of telling future browsers to render like IE7, like I said before its a quick-fix measure that should be phased out by developers on their next version of their website.

It isn't complicated, and should be common sense for any web developer. End-users don't need to know what's going on under the covers.

Again MS shoot themselves in the FOOT. Why do MS keep changing the standards (there thanks to MS NO standards NOW, just MS shifting the goalposts.
When will they learn the more they annoy cleints the more they loose to other platforme as on writer said...

Microsoft don't keep changing the standards, they're not Microsoft's to change. Microsoft are giving Internet Explorer 8 decent support for CSS 2.0 and 2.1, fixing the problems previous versions of IE had with them.

Everyone's testing against Firefox right? Just feed IE8 the same code you would to Firefox.

This is crazy! I don't know what the IE team is smoking. This is going to blow up in MS' face like a thermonuclear bomb. You don't screw around with backward compatibility and not expect blowback from users / developers. MS should go back to its original position, and require developers to place a tag on their web site, to get super standards mode in IE8. Don't bow to the pressure of an overly vocal minority, and cause a gigantic upheaval on the web. Besides, it's not like these guys are going to like you anyway.

Actually web developers who keep tags on things and keep track of what's going on with browser development went thermonuclear on the IE team last year when they said they were going to make "super"-standards-mode opt-in.

Which in my opinion is holding the future to ransom over a couple of minutes of pain now. If you're using a Doc Type in your page, it is opt-out. Like it should be, IE8 will assume it will be getting standards-complaint code.

Gigantic upheaval on the web? Does Firefox or Opera cause gigantic upheaval on the web? No. People are already writing against the standards, they just need to give IE8 the same code as Firefox and Opera instead of all the hacks they're giving to IE6 and the like.