“The browser is the theater,” Gavin said in the interview. “We’re not the play.”
The browser appears to go as far as to allow people to pin certain sites to the desktop and open them in their own windows without any clear indication that they are using IE at all. According to Foley’s Bing translation of the Russian site, there will be certain sites that are “recognized” or “protected” and can be pinned to the taskbar and launched with their own icons.
Microsoft plans to release a beta of the browser at a September 15 event in San Francisco, although this latest leak clearly steals some of the thunder. Up to now, Microsoft had offered several technical previews of the underlying engine, but had yet to show or talk in detail about how the browser would look.
The invitations for the event do mention “the beauty of the Web” and “unlocking the native Web.”
The details on the Russian site reveal a browser that borrows much from Windows 7, including the ability to tear off browser tabs and have them “snap” to a particular part of the screen, similar to the way documents and applications already do in the latest version of Windows.
There is also a unified search and address bar, something already seen in Google’s Chrome. However, having learned from criticism of Google–as well as its own considerable issues with regulators–I’m hearing that Microsoft will make the choice of whether to let the bar suggest sites as you type a completely opt-in affair.