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Internet Explorer 12

Computer window.The next version of Internet Explorer might look more like the competition rather than a retooled version of itself. Scheduled to debut in Windows 9 and codenamed “Threshold”, Internet Explorer 12 (IE12) is said to look like a “cross between Chrome and Firefox” as part of a massive overhaul to the user interface that will give it a flatter appearance.

According to Neowin, the tabs for each page are rectangles at the top and start at the left of the Windows, similar to both Chrome and Firefox. They also appear above the URL bar, unlike in Internet Explorer 11, in which tabs populate the area to the right of the URL bar.

“It really looks a lot like Chrome but with Microsoft’s flat lipstick applied,” Neowin observed. “It’s still early in the UI phase but it does look quite a bit different from what we see now with Internet Explorer 11.”

The back, forward, and refresh buttons all appear below the URL bar in IE12, whereas the back and forward buttons are to the left of the URL bar in IE11, with the refresh button plopped inside and over to the right of the URL bar.

What’s interesting about the new build is how secret Microsoft is keeping it. There have been several leaked screenshots of Windows 9, but so far none of them feature IE12. That could be due to the fact that the leaked “screenies” show very early builds of the Windows 9 Technical Preview, at which point IE12 may not have been cooked enough to serve up.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)