I missed this at the time but about 4 weeks ago Microsoft released details of it's plans for IE9. As you'll see from this article, it looks as though we may be able to start using CSS3 sooner than anticipated. Apparently, MS have been liasing with WC3 and they can't have failed to notice how many web designers are now employing CSS3 techniques for other browsers. Of course, the other angle of attack is to improve performance for online apps in order to fend off Google Chrome and IE9 has some interesting new tricks, like using the GPU for graphics rendering.
Looks like the browser wars are back on and this time it's a good thing!