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JScript team member Pratrap Lakshman said Microsoft would look to see what - if any - "de facto compatibility conventions have been reached, and the value of codifying such conventions into the standard."
Of course, there's no word on what steps Microsoft plans to take to feed "de facto compatibility conventions" back into the official standard.
Those taking a less charitable view of Microsoft's actions might see this as the latest attempt to set industry standards around a piece of its software, while also taking a unique step towards solving unresolved and deep seated compatibility problems in IE.
Microsoft's browser is renowned as being a basket case on standards compliance, being less compliant than other leading standards in recent years according to the group monitoring this issue - The Web Standards Project (WASP).
Earlier this year, Microsoft went as far as to suggest it might give up even trying to maintain standards compatibility and turn the whole standards issue on its head by devising a "compatible with IE" scheme for the next version of Explorer.
The work identifying "de facto compatibility conventions" could see Microsoft stretch IE to fit what's working in the market, and then force the official standard to fit Microsoft's own implementation.
The JScript team's first report can be downloaded here. ®