I would not be suprised to seem Microsoft, over the next year, pul out of the browser business. 4 more security holes announced today. Combined with rave reviews of Firefox. IE is costing Microsoft millions to produce an support, and it's a "free" product. It' either that, or they will product a new, ground up, browser written with security in mind.
Originally, Microsoft tried to dominate Netscape because they feared a browser based OS. Plus they wanted bragging rights. Now it seems IE's image now is like that of Netscapes toward it's end. That it's slow, bloated, and buggy. This is an image that will be hard to over come.
To change that image, Microsoft will need to produce a new version. Something completely new.
But is it worth it to Microsoft to rewrite IE? I doubt it. There are no other commercial browser companies of note. Just Open Source collectives. There is currently no money to be made in the browser industry. So, is it worth millions for bragging rights, especially if you have to work through a very tarnish name? Possibly, but not likely.
And that does not count the hundreds of thousads of dollars spent supporting the product once it's released.
Or the millions in anti-monopoly lawsuits around the world concerning Microsoft and IE.
It's for those reasons, I expect Microsoft to pull out and stick with applications that generate direct revenue.