Did Microsoft Just Leak Internet Explorer 9's New Interface?

Microsoft has yet to reveal IE9's interface—not set to debut until next month. But ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley says she caught a glimpse of IE9's new minimalist look via a slip-up on Microsoft's Russian press site.

Through a leaked screenshot and a bit of translating, Foley says the new layout consolidates existing functions to give you a larger, clearer view of the web. The URL bar and search box will be combined into one, and familiar menus like 'Favorites' and 'Suggested Sites' are nowhere to be seen, clearing up precious real estate. Internet Explorer has never exactly been part of the interface design vanguard, so it's interesting to see Microsoft taking some chances, however minor.

Foley also mentions a feature that will let users turn "recognized" and "protected" sites into web apps that can be launched directly from the taskbar, a la Fluid. What recognized and protected mean, or if they were even translated correctly from Russian, is anyone's guess. [ZDNet]