Some web commentators have shrugged the whole thing off because they don't use Flash in sites they design. This calls to mind a famous quotation from World War II about public indifference "when they came to take the gypsies."
Martin Niemoller's "then they came for the Jews" poem has become the one-size-fits-all persecution metaphor. Comparing the plight of Web browser plug-ins to the second worst genocide of the 20th century seems a touch overstated to me, but I guess it could be worse:
First they came for the Diaperene Corn Starch Baby Powder, but I was not a baby -- so I said nothing. Then they came for the Jergen's Gentle Touch Bath Soap, but I still had some left -- so I did nothing. Then they came for Naturistics' Clearwater Musk, but I was wearing a different scent that summer. And then they came for the Coty's Wild Musk Powder, but I was not surprised so -- I did little. Then when they came for the regular scented Johnsons' No More Tangles Spray, I had grown my hair long again and there was none left to untangle it with ...
Just cannot resist: +1 in The Game to Zeldman.
I'm honestly at a loss as to why MS folded so easily. They fended off a hostile government long enough for the political winds to change. What's up with giving in to a dinky little company in a dinky little patent fight?