IE8 and opt-in versioning mechanism

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Update 2008-01-23: See the followup on QA.

I have discussed a lot in the past about possible versioning mechanisms. A 'meta' element and http headers were two of the possibilities I had mentioned. Today, Chris Wilson (Microsoft and chair of the HTML WG) has announced in compatibility and IE8 that Microsoft worked with the WASP to propose an opt-in versioning mechanism.

The summary is

  1. "Quirks mode" remains the same, and compatible with current content.
  2. "Standards mode" remains the same as IE7, and compatible with current content.
  3. If you (the page developer) really want the best standards support IE8 can give, you can get it by inserting a simple <meta> element. Aaron gives more details on this in his article.

In the WASP article, it is explained as

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8" />

My question to Chris Wilson:

Does IE8 support this opt-in mechanism when sent as an HTTP header only, without the meta in the document?

GET / HTTP/1.1
X-UA-Compatible: IE=8

Update: Answers in the comments suggest that it doesn't respect HTTP protocol.

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