Firestarter staff writer Paul Festa draws more public attention to Internet Explorer’s lack of full CSS support in Developers gripe about IE standards inaction. Paul uses Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Meyer, and Jakob Nielsen as sources for quotes about Adobe’s move to partner with Opera to improve CSS support in GoLive. In doing so, he nails the issues, shedding a brighter light on the lingering problems with Microsoft’s overly-popular browsing application. IE is a decent browser, but its shortcomings make it a dead-weight which is holding back forward-thinking web design and development.

Adobe’s decision to partner with Opera is an important one. It’s one more step in proving that IE is not — and does not need to be — the browser to which everyone defaults. In addition to clamoring from the development community, it will take major tool and application vendors to help step up the call for Microsoft to pay attention to these demands. The article featured a disappointing quote from Windows product manager, Greg Sullivan:

“While it is true that our implementation is not fully, 100 percent W3C-compliant, our development investments are driven by our customer requirements and not necessarily by standards, […] We balance feedback from all our customers and make our development decisions based on meeting the requirements of all of our customers, not just a few of them.”

By using this explanation, Microsoft could try to slant what they call “customer requirements”, or even project their own requirements based on features the company wants — or doesn’t want — to build into the browser. But growing pressure applied by larger organizations and demanding groups of customers may eventually become a voice Microsoft can no longer ignore. The more fires lit under Microsoft, the less likely they’ll be able to shield themselves from the firestorm developing around them.