Jon Udell , in contrast to Tim Bray, sees browser vendors trying to get around the logjam that is W3C by working co-operatively on joint ventures, bring them close to fruition and then proposing to W3C. Mozilla and Opera are doing major overhaul to Forms and Safari is working on dashboards. Here is a telling part of Jons reasoning:
“That document, which enumerates a whole bunch of practical ways in which browsers could support better Web applications, resonates powerfully for me. Unlike in 1996, Microsoft today sees Web applications as a dead end; Internet Explorer is frozen; the wholly proprietary Avalon is their future. Meanwhile Mozilla, Safari, and Opera think they can create forward motion on Web apps, within a cooperative framework. My $0.02: go for it.”
Let me add my $0.02 in favor of nearly joint browser innovation, as well. Microsoft has proven in the past to be a an untrustworthy browser player – and its new directions hardly bode well for advancing standards based browser development. Supposedly Redmond is starting up their IE development engines – it will be interesting to see if this is a)true and b)how standards compliant the “new IE” will be.