So much to debunk, so little time.
Microsoft doesn't really have to write a better web browser, they only have to write one that is "good enough." They include it with their operating system, which for a number of reasons, none of which having to do with web browsers, is the dominant operating system on the PC platform. So nobody really has much inclination to go download something else. (Unless they want to block popup ads... go grab Mozilla!
That's the beauty of standardization. You don't *have* to "get to all the smaller ones." You don't have to write code for every single browser out there, addressing each 1% and one-half % at a time, you just address the standardized pieces that they have in common.... and then you find that the fact the each browser is only worth 1%.. doesn't matter. You write the code in such a way that you're supporting all those individual 1%ers at once, and you've got 10%.
But this discussion is overly theoretical from the start.
BTW, none of this is intended as a slight against Evan and Matt, who for the most part have done a great job, and I don't really mind if the major browsers are supported first with support for the less popular ones coming later. It *is* intended as a slight against those people within the IT industry who don't see the value of open standards, and the point of view you're expressing (Murphy) is essentially "well, who cares about open standards." I wish that more people did, because it really does benefit everyone in the *long* run.
(Oh, and the economic impact of non-MS browsers isn't as small as all that. I think a lot of corporations still find that they need to support them or they lose valuable business.)
--Ped "Arrogant Idealistic B**tard" Xing