Regular readers will know my feelings about the IE7 team's attitude, at least as published on their official blog. Generally I feel just a dash more sensitivity wouldn't have gone astray, given that Microsoft has come back to the browser game after a notable and extended absence.

So it's only fair for me to highlight this post: Albatross! : Microsoft, IE and the Web Standards Project. Now it's a personal blog and not an official line, but all the same it's an acknowledgement that they did disappear for a while there: I’m sorry Microsoft took an apparent vacation for a few years. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. Go watch Bill Gates’ and Dean Hachamovitch’s keynote addresses from the MIX06 conference, maybe their apologies will mean more.

The post also shows the frustration from the IE side of the fence: I’m not asking that people forget that vacation – I don’t expect them to. I’ve moved on, and I’m trying to do the right thing now. There's a difference between stewing in the past, and figuring out where to go from here.

It's a fair call that we have to move on, although there's a difference between stewing and venting. After all IE7 still isn't actually released and we have years of screaming at IE6 to get out of our systems ;) But it's true that it takes leaders like Molly Holzschlag to cross the line between bitching and helping. The rest of us should probably be getting a handle on the idea that IE7 might be a good browser.

Meanwhile, Eric Meyer reminds us (and apparently the IE team) that neither side is an amorphous mass. Eric's Archived Thoughts: Praise IE, Go to Jail : While at Mix 06, I was talking with one of the senior IE team folks about improving standards and the browser market. He said to me, "So what is it the Web design community wants?"—as if there is a single such community, and it always speaks with a unified voice on all matters. Does that sound like the Web design community you know? ... So why do we assume that Microsoft, a company with tens of thousands of employees working in hundreds of teams and units, would be any more unified?

Occasionally we all have to have a reality check. There are humans on all sides here. All the usual issues of building trust and relationships still stand; and everyone needs to cut the other side a break once in a while.