No credit where no credit is due
I do think the IE team deserves credit for having floated the idea for opt-in version targeting rather than just going ahead and implementing it.
Err, “floated the idea?” I thought what I read was an announcement of fait accompli. At no time did it strike me as though Microsoft left the issue open-ended. That they subsequently revoked their proclaimed decision came out of left field; would this have been the case if what they first did was in fact merely “floating the idea?”
I’m glad that someone inside Microsoft apparently somehow managed to overrule someone else (whoever the people involved are), but I can find no way to interpret Microsoft’s initial course of action as commendable.
Furthermore, the question Eric Meyer asked is still open: even though Microsoft reneged on the most objectionable part of the announcement, the fact that IE 8 will have three rendering modes, including a frozen-in-time one with all its implications for competitors, still stands.