I'm sure the IE team has done their market research. Just because they're not blogging to the community at large, who are a bunch of jerks anyway, doesn't mean they don't know what people want in the browser.
If they knew what people wanted, FF would have no marketshare, after all if you have the perfect browser already with your OS - why go to the trouble of changing to a third-party one? And how can they know what people want if they don't communicate with them.
Why make the pretence at creating blogs to be more transparent and communicative and then just close them up when you have shipped your product? People (devs specifically) DO want to know what is coming so that they can make strategic decisions for the future and at the moment NOBODY outside the IE team knows what is coming down the pipe.
In defense of the IE team they have put up with sooo much cr@p and nasty comments that from a more personal angle I can 100% understand why nobody would want to put themselves through that.
Dave, I'd be interested to know a little about how the IE team was structured - is there one single person who has the final decision on any particular feature, or is it more of a committee?
As with every group at Microsoft I've ever encountered groups of people are involved in nearly every decision. Clearly though there is someone at the top who has to make a decision if there is deadlock and may need to make tradeoffs about what resources are focused on what areas. They never make such decisions in isolation though.