Microsoft has recently released the final version of Internet Explorer version 8 (IE8).

The new version can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site, and is expected to be released via Windows Update in April.

To prepare for this, we have done some testing to ensure OM4 websites are compatible with IE8.

Our testing showed that OM4 websites displayed fine in IE8, with no changes to our OM4 theme required.

However there are known compatibility problems with WordPress’ Visual Editor (see screenshot below). This causes the toolbar to be displayed incorrectly, and any long lines of text to not wrap correctly in the editor.

WordPress Visual Editor with IE8

WordPress Visual Editor with IE8

Fortunately, there is a simple work around that can be used until the visual editor problem is fixed. Simply enable compatibility view for the dashboard you are trying to use.

To do this, log into the dashboard of your website, then click the compatibility view button on IE8’s address bar (the button highlighted in red in the screenshot below):

Internet Explorer 8 Address Bar

Internet Explorer should then display your dashboard using compatibility view, which should fix the visual editor problems:

WordPress Visual Editor with IE8 Compatability View Enabled

WordPress Visual Editor with IE8 Compatibility View Enabled

Web Browser Usage

This new version of Internet Explorer has prompted me to investigate the statistics from one of our most popular client websites. Google Analytics was used to show the percentage of visitors for each of the major browsers during the last 30 days (19 Feb – 21 March 2009):

Web Browser Statistics

The chart shows that Internet Explorer 7 is the most popular browser. It also shows that 18% of visitors are still using the ancient Internet Explorer 6 browser. I’m really looking forward to the day when the number of IE 6 users is negligible!

Summary

Overall, I think IE8 is a huge step forward for Microsoft in web standards compliance, with our testing demonstrating that IE8 renders websites very similarly to Mozilla Firefox.

If you currently use Internet Explorer 7 (or earlier), we highly recommend updating to IE8.

If any OM4 website owners notice any problems with their website in IE 8, please let us know.