Seriously bad show by The Register
Sorry guys, normally you report really well, but this is one example where you've taken things completely out of context.
Actually, I think it's reasonable for them to have it switched on for intranet sites.
Most people using Internet Explorer visiting my website are not going to be on my Intranet.
However, there is, at least in my experience, more IE only pages, that rely on IE's screwy behaviour, on corporate Intranet sites. This as I understand, only effects sites accessed via the intranet zone in IE, which for most people, is very VERY few.
Coporate users, who have a local intranet, or B2B users via vpn links to partners, have web applications set up to do specific tasks, and if they currently rely on the dodgy behaviour, it would be irresponsible of Microsoft to possibly break them by default. Intranet sites are the ones that have highest risk of cost to a company if they break.
So this default for enabling it for Intranets doesn't actually harm most people, including most developers. Even if the number of page views for intranet sites are high in coporate environments, the correlation of this to the number of sites effected outside of that specific environment, and in fact to most websites, is very low.
As for the broken page icon, after the most recent update, it sits next to the address bar and is obviously a button, not an icon. Buttons are not supposed to display information to the user, they are supposed to be used by the user to tell the program something, or to take an action.
I see a broken page button, and I think "if the page is broken, I click that button".
It makes sense to me, and judging my knowledge of my mum's understanding of her computer, it would make sense to her too. And if not, I can say to her "if the website is broken, click the broken page button".