We can follow the Internet Explorer (IE) process as a microcosm of the overall economic process. Microsoft (MS) is a "big corporation," with Mozilla and Google as competition.
For a long time, MS had little competition, mostly because they were first to the market with a historical innovation everyone wanted. They took almost all the market share, leaving Apple a tiny percentage.
As with any free-market environment, competition developed. Netscape changed the foundation of technology and opened up a new "world," the Web. What was Microsoft`s response?
First they tried to drive Netscape into bankruptcy. At that moment, the world could have gone in various different directions. Also at that moment, the government and judicial system came into play.
We`ve all moved in a direction toward government regulation over free markets. Microsoft was able to interfere with the open markets to an extent, using the judicial system.
I would expect Microsoft to now file for bailout money at some point. We likely could see the government interfere yet again with both FireFox and Chrome, not to mention Safari.
Whenever the government steps in to control competition, the result is a disaster. The worse product survives and the better products are hobbled. Everyone loses. Artificial support for unhealthy situations promote those unhealthy conditions.
We, as a society, will no sooner "allow" IE to collapse than we`ll "allow" the automotive industry or any other industry that`s "too big to fail" go out of business.
Oddly enough, we also see in a growing number of school systems that teachers must be made to teach the theory of natural selection and creationism, both at the same time. IE8 would be like "Bill Gates spoke the word, and the word was Internet Explorer."
Firefox and the other browsers would be Darwinian evolution. Unfortunately, society is being prevented from applying the natural selection of the free market. We saw this prior to the Dark Ages, back during medieval times, when the Church took control of Europe.
In modern times, we`re looking at the Church of Government Regulation. Interference with free markets is based on empty faith that "somehow" the nondescript "government" knows best how to make everyone`s life better. Substitute "equal" for "better," and you have modern-day socialism.