Usually such news would give me a shiver down my spine. However, I heard a rumor that IE8 is going for full CSS 2.1 compliance. This is a very interesting concept and one that I am unsure whether to believe. It would be fantastic if we no longer had to design for separate browsers, but I think that day is quite a long way off.
An interesting feature seems to be the compatibility button, which you press to view sites designed for older browsers. I wonder if this means Microsoft have finally concluded that their previous IE versions have been shocking and this is their attempt to design on a clean slate. This would certainly be a welcome feature for the design community as a whole, but will probably result in some older sites not designed to standards only being viewable using compatibility mode. Worth it, in my opinion.
I will get it installed soon and give it a whirl. It will have to be a LOT better than the previous beta if it is to be useable. I still can’t imagine giving up Firefox though, but as always, I have an open mind.