Microsoft leaks new-look Internet Explorer 9
Leaked screenshots reveal stripped-back design for Internet Explorer 9
The first screenshot of Internet Explorer 9 has been leaked - by Microsoft itself.
The revamped interface appeared on Microsoft Russia's press site, before being hastily pulled down by the company.
The single screenshot shows a Spartan new design for the Microsoft browser, that is more than a little reminiscent of Google Chrome.
As with Chrome, the search and address bars have been merged. Unlike Google's browser, however, IE9's tabs appear immediately to the right of the address bar, which on first impression, doesn't leave a lot of room when several tabs are opened simultaneously.
All of the menu options have been amalgamated under a single button, which again follows in the wake of Chrome and the Firefox 4 beta.
Microsoft is also borrowing tricks from Windows 7. A "tear-off tabs" feature will allow users to snap two different browser tabs to either side of the screen, allowing them to compare web pages side-by-side.
The screenshot suggests that the Web Slices feature introduced with Internet Explorer 8 - which allowed users to place little web widgets beneath the address bar - has been hastily dropped.
Microsoft is due to unveil the first beta of Internet Explorer 9 at an event in San Francisco in the middle of next month. It appears the Moscow office didn't get the memo.