Could IE7 push developers to use web standards?

Now that Internet Explorer 7 is finally released, the concerns that have been building will start to become a reality. Many websites will find they do not format properly with IE7, and others may have more serious problems with functionality.

As a Linux and Mozilla Firefox user, I am certainly no fan of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, in fact I actively recommend Firefox to any Windows user.

That said, I feel quite positive about the release of IE7. Not because I will be using it (apart from testing), but because it will give web developers and users a kick up the backside about the importance of web standards. Some changes in IE7 will break compatibility with the non-standard 'features' of IE6, so those web developers who previously ignored web standards and other browsers will find they have to do a lot of rework on websites that make use of IE6 only behaviour.

Web site designers and developers who have refrained from using or relying on IE specific formatting and behavior, that is those who bothered to check things worked in other browsers, will have far less trouble with the release of IE7 than Microsoft fanbois (how ironic)!

For a few good tips on working with IE7, try this helpful article from Webcredible: Preparing your CSS for Internet Explorer 7.