Masquerading Internet Explorer 8 as IE7 and vice versa is critical to ensure compatibility

Microsoft indicated a strong commitment to delivering support for web standards with Internet Explorer 8. In this context, instead making the default rendering mode of the next IE iteration synonymous with that of IE7 as was initially planned, the Redmond company made a move designed to emphasize its focus on interoperability. But by making standards-based […]

Microsoft indicated a strong commitment to delivering support for web standards with Internet Explorer 8. In this context, instead making the default rendering mode of the next IE iteration synonymous with that of IE7 as was initially planned, the Redmond company made a move designed to emphasize its focus on interoperability. But by making standards-based rendering, the default mode in Internet Explorer 8 Microsoft is performing  a gambit as, while web content and design will welcome the change, those still dealing with legacy web materials and applications tailored on IE6 and IE7 will find quite a different experience. For them, IE8 will break the web and their applications.

This is why Microsoft sees it necessary to prepare not only web content developers and designed for the delivery of the browser, but also the rest of the users. Matthew David Crowley, Program Manager Internet Explorer Extensibility, addressed the issue of IE8 breaking applications because of the WebBrowser Control Rendering Modes in the browser.

"Many commonly used applications and Windows system components depend on the MSIE WebBrowser control to render webpages from within their program. Unlike live sites, pages loaded within these controls are typically static resources stored in libraries and executables on a system. While webmasters can easily alter their site to render properly in the new version of IE, many software vendors do not have the resources to instantly push out new versions of their applications with updated internal pages. In order to ensure that these existing applications remain in working order, IE8 renders pages running within instances of the WebBrowser control in IE7 Standards Mode by default," Crowley stated.

Users have to understand that as part of the loading process of an executable in an instance of the WebBrowser control, the registry is scanned in order to determine what the proper rendering mode will be. In this manner, an application determines whether to run in IE8 Standards mode or in the IE7 Standards. Such a scenario can be controlled by hacking the registry. Users simply have to insert values into the registry.

For WebBrowser control in IE7 Standards Mode:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainFeatureControlFEATURE_NATIVE_DOCUMENT_MODE]

"MyApplication.exe"=dword:11170

For IE8 Standards Mode:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainFeatureControlFEATURE_NATIVE_DOCUMENT_MODE]

"MyApplication.exe"=dword:13880

For WebBrowser control in IE5 Quirks Mode:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainFeatureControlFEATURE_NATIVE_DOCUMENT_MODE]

"MyApplication.exe"=dword:C350

Source:→ Softpedia

IE8, Internet Explorer 8, IE7, Internet Explorer 7, Masquerade, Compatibility