From my recent rereading of My First BillG Review - Joel on Software:

how many billions of dollars has Microsoft lost, in R&D, legal fees, and damage to reputation, because they decided that not only do they have to make a web browser, but they have to give it away free?

Now admittedly IE allowed the dominance of ASP for quite some time, and with it enough Microsoft SQL Server licenses that whatever worm that was a while back was a pretty danged big deal, but ultimately, what good has IE really done for Microsoft? Would Netscape have kicked out embedded COM objects? Really? And if IE was trashed once Mozilla was out, nothing's stopping M$ from grabbing it and doing whatever the heck they wanted to with it.

Why not trash IE? Not sure the answer's as obvious as I have been implicitly assuming it is for years.