The cynics among us will simply say that Microsoft has seen the way the wind blows in the European Union and realizes they will lose this newest complaint from Opera over standards. The Microsoft boosters will say they are doing something good for us, as is their way.
You know what? I don't care who is right. I'm just happy it is happening. If MS sticks to this course of action, every single one of us will win. That's all there is to it.
The link is to the IE 8 blog at MSDN. It is worth a careful read.