I can only imagine what kind of a political nightmare it must have been for the IE team to pull this off, but they deserve praise for finally liberating their browser from the clutches WGA (whose “advantage” has always been unclear).

When it became clear that IE 7 was going to be tied to WGA in an early beta, it left a lot of angry developers scratching their heads. Perhaps smart moves like this are enough to counter the lack of public communication about the future of IE and the stunning paucity of debugging tools for Redmond’s browser (among other things), but anything that cycles IE 6 out of circulation faster is good for the web. Kudos to the IE team for doing the right thing by their users.