Has Microsoft killed the browser?

This article at News.com.com.com raises a provocative question. Has Microsoft abandoned its browser now that IE is the de facto standard for much of the web?
It has been years since Microsoft declared victory over browser pioneer Netscape Communications, and a long time since it last released a full upgrade to Internet Explorer (IE). Now critics say the company is fulfilling old predictions that it would embrace the browser and extend its capabilities, only to extinguish it.
The articles goes on to discuss Microsoft's plans for improvements to IEĀ—improvements that will only be available in MS's Longhorn OS. Those plans sound spiffy, I suppose, but I think this guy gets at the heart of the problem:
"Still, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me," O'Grady said. "If Microsoft just added a few new features like tabbed browsing, it would automatically eliminate a lot of the basis for criticism that it is taking right now. I don't know technically what is involved. But I can't see why an organization the size of Microsoft can't do that. The only conclusion I can come to is that the browser is not the important platform to them that it once was."
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