Should Microsoft (or any software producer) be forced to recall and wildely defective product?
Taking that question by itself and ignoring the obvious practical difficulties, the answer is a big YES. People have a reasonable expectation that stuff they buy works OK.
If so, who decides that it is "rotten to the core" like many of use feel IE is?
You'd need a legal expert to answer that one, but my guess would be a regulatory consumer body (office of trading standards, or whatever you want to call it).
Gates once said something akin to "if a car or plane is radically defective, then people die; but, when a browers breaks, people don't".
So what? If my fridge breaks a week after I bought it, I'm entitled to a replacement/refund. If my telephone broadcasts my conversations to the entire city, I'm entitled to a replacement/refund. Heck, if my ballpoint pen doesn't do it's job, I'm entitled to a replacement/refund! Why should software be any different? Talking about people dying is just irrelevant emotive b.s.