Creative Marketing by Microsoft at DrupalCon Chicago
As seen at DrupalCon Chicago (in the program book):
I think the IE development and marketing team at Microsoft 'gets' the situation, and is being very creative about it's efforts in promoting IE9 (case in point: IE6 Countdown). As to how far IE9 will ultimately go towards stemming web developers' collective hatred toward Explorer as a platform... that remains to be seen.
The ad above reads:
Dear Web Developer,
We are so very sorry about IE6.
Come have a drink on us at the Opening Night Party. Also, stop by our booth #67 and we will show you why IE9 is way better.
In my own testing of IE9, I've found it to be about on par with FireFox in how much I'd recommend it to users over any other browsers... that is to say, Chrome/Safari is still better, but I no longer need to tell people they should switch—IE9 is good enough for regular Internet users.
The only thing I really, really hope Microsoft starts doing is taking a more Chrome-like approach to adding in little bits of HTML5 and CSS3 goodness (and fixing some bugs) with point releases, rather than waiting 3-5 years for another IE release! (Of course, IE9 isn't released yet...).
What does this have to do with Drupal?
Observing Microsoft's recent inroads in the Drupal community (making sure Drupal runs well on IIS and Windows, and supporting the Drupal community here and there, for instance), I think Microsoft is doing a pretty good job of approaching an open source community with open arms, and changing people's minds (slightly) about their products and offerings.
For example, a couple years ago, there was no way I'd consider hosting a Drupal site on IIS. With Drupal 7 and a good hosting provider/server setup? Definitely.