Well goodness gracious, consider the books well and truly turned up. The above, purportedly bona fide, IE9 screenshot shows a bold and radical redesign of the browser everyone loves to hate. Borrowing liberally from the Metro UI design philosophy -- first espoused in the Zune HD and then paraded to great acclaim in the Windows Phone 7 OS -- this distinctly minimalist new look has us experiencing uncomfortable and unfamiliar emotions toward Microsoft's browser. We kinda, sorta wanna use it now. According to the rough translation, the bar up top alternates, depending on your use, between displaying the page title, status, address bar or search box, thereby trimming the aesthetic fat to the very limit. Slide past the break for another image, but remember: these could just as easily be mere mockups done by passionate Microsoft fans. In either case, we're pretty sure this is the direction this browser, and all others, need to be headed.

[Thanks, Kiran]

Update: And, as it turned out, the screenshots were indeed an exercise in some April-inspired tomfoolery by the guys over at LiveSino. We still think they're gorgeous, we'll just brush up on our Chinese for next time.

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Internet Explorer 9 going all Metro, according to allegedly leaked screenshots? (update: nope)