A sneak peek at IE9 UI: What do you think?

This morning Mary Jo Foley caught Microsoft’s Russian subsidiary’s website showing off what looks like our first glimpse at the new IE9 UI:

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The single image (since taken down, of course) shows a simplified look, with a combined search/address bar, what looks to be not much room for tabs, and three icons on the right:

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looking very much like “Home”, “Favorites”, and “Settings”.  Mary Jo used Bing Translator on the Russian site to reveal some more tidbits:

The Russian Microsoft site said that there will be provisions for “recognized,” or “protected,” sites which will allow users to go straight from the Windows taskbar to these sites without having to open IE first. In other words, recognized, protected sites will be treated more like traditional Windows applications.

Bing translated the instructions for doing this as “(C)lick the pins in the address bar or click the site in a new tab and drag it to the taskbar. That’s all. If the site is pinned, it displays an icon that is separate from the Internet Explorer. Now from the website you are just one click.”

(It sounds like this might be a feature accessible by Windows 7 users only, though I am not sure.)

The Russian site also mentions “tear-off tabs”, built on Windows 7’s Aero Snap feature, and some more about the simplified UI.

Microsoft plans to unveil the first full IE9 beta at a launch party in San Francisco on September 15th (and yes we’ll be there!).  Currently only about 43% of you visit LiveSide.net using IE.  Will IE9 entice you to switch back from Firefox or Chrome?  67% of our visitors are using Windows 7 (with 21% coming from XP!!), will Windows 7 only features further entice you?  Will it prompt you to move up from XP?

We can’t wait to get down to San Francisco and get our hands on IE9, until then, what do you think about this sneak peek into the new IE9 UI?