Microsoft have, once again, neglected the browser market. They soundly beat Nutscrape after a long battle, then stagnated.
Of course, Nutscrape was reinvented as the open source Mozilla. And some Norwegian fools came out with a decent product too. So, while the masses were busy working on the crippled IE 6, there was a bleeding edge introduced to such wonders as tabbed browsing, with built in popup killers, and some greater security. And, for a time, it was good.
Then Mozilla did something a bit silly. They went and released a much more accessable browser, which is friendlier than IE, has all the benefits of Mozilla, and is faster than Moz. And, for a time, it was good.
However, I think that the bear is awakening. Microsoft say they will release IE7 in beta form within a couple of months. Apparently, it’s because it offers much greater security than IE*, but I’d put a small- to middling-amount of money on it being related to the threat of FireFox.
Browser Wars: The Return?
* – of course, the general perception is that the goatse guy is more secure than IE, so it’s not really saying much.