I like to believe I have a good grasp of the way the folks in Redmond think, but sometimes I'm completely mystified. Take, for example, this quote by Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer:
"You go through and talk to all these people and ask them what they want out of a browser and there are a lot of conflicting requests around: 'Hey, give me tabs right now' versus 'I want stability, I want a platform that won't break, I want to make sure I have extensability, I want to make sure have manageability,' " he said.
I very much doubt that providing tabs in the UI would impact extensibility, manageability, or stability. (Could it be that the Browser Helper Object API or some other IE extension API simply can't deal with multiple documents in tabs in a window? Yet it's my understanding that IE extensions work in IE shells like Avant that provide tabs.) It wouldn't even impact what I see as Microsoft's hidden agenda, stagnating Web technology to drive developers to Avalon. Yet tabs are clearly a simple feature that's pulling users away from IE, so why won't Microsoft provide them? I wish I knew.