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Is Microsoft breaking the web by not updating the IE browser or planning better standards support in any yet-to-appear OS-based browser?

In his article How Microsoft can support CSS2 without breaking the Web Tristan Nitot, who was with the Netscape Evangelism team before its demise, points to an interview in which Gary Schare, Director of Windows Product Management at Microsoft, says:

“We could change the CSS support and many other standards elements within the browser rendering platform. But in doing so, we would also potentially break a lot of things.”

Nitot’s article ponders the truth of this, pointing to the use of DOCTYPE switching and sharing some interesting statistics as to how any change to support couldn’t really break existing sites.

The lack of proper CSS support in IE remains one of the more serious concerns for web designers & developers who wish to advance their use of CSS and standards-based approaches to building sites.

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