posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Sep 2010 18:11 UTC
IconWe already know quite a few details about Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft's upcoming attempt to retain - or grow - its market share in the browser world. Standards and speed are the main focus of IE9, and if a video of the upcoming beta release is anything to go by, they're doing pretty well. Just... Did they just manage to make the interface even less appealing?

Microsoft has fed us a number of builds for Internet Explorer 9, and while theyshowed off the speed improvements as well as the much more modern standards support (95 on Acid3), Microsoft remained tight-lipped on what, exactly, it was planning to do about that abomination they dare to call a "UI" used by the previous two Internet Explorer releases.

With the beta release only a few days away, leaks are bound to occur. A website called IEBest.com (I wish I was making this stuff up) claims to be in possession of the beta release, and has the video material to prove it. Of course, it's hard to assess how genuine this stuff is, but if it is, the IE9 user interface team deserves a spanking.

Assuming this is real, the interface doesn't look particularly polished; the tabs feel bolted on, as if they're not part of the actual program. If it were a screenshot, I'd call Photoshop on that one. Everything does look a lot tidier than previous releases, but one massive problem stands out like a major cringe-inducing eye-sore.

While I'm this close to proposing to Chrome's UI so I can give her babies, Chrome does have one major problem: lack of tab overflow. If you open boatloads of windows in Chrome, the tabs become ever smaller and less readable, until you're finally just staring at a white mountain range.

However, at least Chrome will give you the full width of the window to play with. In this supposed IE9 user interface, you're given just half of the window for the tab bar, because the stupid address bar is in the way! This monumental oversight alone makes me think we're looking at a fake. This just can't be real.

If it turns out this is, in fact, real, I'm going to do a massive facepalm.

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