One of my first blog posts, in 1994, was an appeal to IBM and Apple to work together to offer an alternative to Microsoft.
I felt that IBM wasn't going to make it with their OS/2, and the Macintosh needed more than Apple could provide. I wanted IBM to make Macs. Instead of three major OSes, let's try to have two. Realizing that if that wasn't going to happen we'd probably end up with just one.
Now, in 2011, it appears that Firefox is dependent on a competitor for its funding. Google, whose search engine provides their money, might not want to fund a competitor to Chrome.
Firefox appears to be walking away from its corporate users, so it's a perfect opportunity for a company such as IBM or Microsoft (or both) to step in and provide the development money that Google was providing. Of course Microsoft would have to build on Firefox instead of their own browser. But we're at a point where it would be better to have one strong competitor than two weak ones. It looks, to me, a lot like 1994 in operating systems.
The people who work at Mozilla probably would not like this, but they are just one possible path for Firefox, which is, after all, open source. All that's required here, it seems, is courage and vision from Microsoft, to manage this.