One of my favorite blogs is Joel on Software. He wrote a great article about How Microsoft Lost the API War. Near the end of it he gets to the web and he writes what I’ve been saying for at least the last few years:
It’s not that Microsoft didn’t notice this was happening. Of course they did, and when the implications became clear, they slammed on the brakes. Promising new technologies like HTAs and DHTML were stopped in their tracks. The Internet Explorer team seems to have disappeared; they have been completely missing in action for several years. There’s no way Microsoft is going to allow DHTML to get any better than it already is: it’s just too dangerous to their core business, the rich client.