With the development of CSS3 with its many media rules as well as much enhanced text, selector and box formating rules, CSS will become Redmonds Rubicon. Microsoft and the IE team is taking a lot of heat for not delivering on all CSS standard from nearly ten years ago in contrast with just about very other browser developer. But now commercial application developers like Adobe with Cold Fusion and Flash, BEA with some of its AquaLogic line and Sun with some of its AJAX and Java tools – all of these vendors are supporting CSS right in their app developer tools.
As a result, the pressure is on Microsoft to fully implement CSS in its Web and desktop development tools (see here for more details). At the last two Mix conferences Microsoft has made concerted efforts to woo back Web developers after thwarting Web Standards in IE and its development tools. However, , the IE and other MS Web teams have been complaining that they cant back off proprietary standards because they will break the experience for their legion of users. But in the case of CSS this already inapproriate logic does not apply. Or wait – maybe it does, because Redmond is working triple overtime on nmew technologies such as WPF and SilverLight which Redmond can claim makes many aspects of CSS3 /CSS redundant. With Orcas and SilverLight Microsoft will in the future have technology that a) is proprietary but might be made partially open and b)sometimes extends beyond the Web stanadrds that it rejected and thwarted in the past.
In short, Microsoft has to decide how much of a standards good citizen it wants(or needs) to be. How much can it impose defacto and proprietary standards on the Web development community that it abandoned for 7 years. Microsofts CSS support will be the Rubicon.