Strike 1: Least common denominator
The point of web development is ultimately to reach users. In order to broaden the audience as much as possible, all major browsers are to be supported. The good news is that FireFox, Safari, and Chrome are all very easy to support with their compliance to the standards. In fact they take almost no effort at all to support if the web sites are designed by the standards. Sounds simple right, not so fast!
The bad news is that Internet Explorer, not only does not support the standards, it goes out of its way to corrupt them. Often the choice is to make a web site for IE or for everyone else. It could be that this was an intentional strategy as for many years it kept people using Explorer because some web sites added non-standard content excluding all the competition. Luckily, these sites have been forced by their customers to drop that policy.
In the end, most sites have to reduce their features and slow acceptance of new technologies because Internet Explorer cannot handle it. This is a punishment handed down by Microsoft to all Internet users regardless of what browser they use.
Strike 2: Too expensive to support
It is very often the case that more time is spent creating Explorer workarounds than creating the content and supporting all the other browsers combined. This is ridiculous. Microsoft should have to pay everyone to support its products, then they might improve its quality.
Strike 3: Performance is a joke
Strike 4: Poor technology support
Strike 5: Using a monopoly to cause harm to everyone
Since Microsoft has enjoyed a monopoly with its windows operating system, it used that power to force users to use its browser. This fact has been proven in a court of law during its anti-trust case. Still today, most web sites feel they are forced to support Explorer because this user base of victims is very large.
The good news is that Explorer no longer holds the majority of users and its influence is declining every day. This change has forced web sites to build to the standards to support other browsers instead of using Microsoft-only technologies. This trend is moving like an avalanche right now so much so that sites are starting to refuse to support Internet Explorer.
Strike 6: A company with no business interest in improvement
This is the final nail in the coffin. Microsoft has no reason to change its strategy. They have a long standing reputation as a company that only supports its own interests. Having advanced open web technology weakens the position of all its products from Windows to its profitable office suite. It is in their interest to prevent a solid Internet experience, especially one that does not run on Windows like the vast majority of the Internet is today.
The new world order
Everyone deserves a full and rich Internet experience. There is really no excuse for anyone to suffer with Internet Explorer anymore. There are many great choices in Web Browsers available for Windows users that can provide a quality Internet experience like FireFox, Chrome and Safari. All of them are free and all of them have worked around Microsoft's past attempts to make it hard for users to download and install them.
Web sites no longer need to support Internet Explorer. They can now take the money saved, add new features and still have plenty for the bank. It is the end of era, but the beginning of something much better.
Still resistant to change?
At the very least, users should upgrade to IE8 as that is one step closer to standards compliance. However, as it fixes some of the more annoying compatibility issues, users are likely to experience a lot of poorly formated web sites since many sites had previously been hacked up for the older Explorer versions. Also, be warned, that browser is still buggy so some things may not work. Even a loyalist will have to admit users might be better off just using a different browser because most sites do not include Explorer hacks in pages served to non-explorer browsers.