Well now… there’s a rumour going around that Microsoft may stop development of Internet Explorer, to focus on MSN instead. See the comments in Craig Saila’s post on CSS flubs in IE.
This makes sense from a business standpoint. The browser war is long won, so it’s time to stop offering a free product and begin making money on monthly services. Consider the Mac OS situation — MSN for Mac OS X was released last week, when we haven’t seen an update for Mac IE5 in how long now? I’d be willing to wager that, with Safari and Chimera on the radar, and given the average Mac–head’s disdain for Microsoft, one isn’t forthcoming either.
It’s tough to predict long–term strategy from the outside, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we only see one or two more revisions of IE for the PC before it’s left behind. Which gives the average PC user three choices — pay for MSN service, download an alternate browser, or simply don’t upgrade.
Given how Microsoft won the browser wars, guess which one my money is on?