Originally filed in the halcyon days of 2010, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has just published a web browser-centric patent application from the fine folks in Redmond. Microsoft's "Branded Browser Frame" app details a "computer-readable storage media" that can be specifically executed (presumably by surfing over to a website that's capable of handling said execution), and then used to present a varying interface based on what the underlying instructions are telling it to do. According to the independent claims put forth, we're told about a "control layout area... wherein one of the selected controls comprises a website-branded control that serves as a website's homepage button, and a navigation control that provides an input field."

In lay terms, that sounds a lot like a browser function that would enable many of the typical graphical elements we see atop our URL bars today to be adjusted and dynamically tweaked based on inputs from whatever address it was currently on. We aren't putting words in the applicant's mouth, but we're envisioning a top bar in Internet Explorer that turns red and features DVDs as the forward and back buttons when surfing over to Netflix.com (perhaps a stretch, but you catch the drift). IE9 does a bit of that color changing today, but it's possible that more is in store. Naturally, it'll take some time to see if this here app is actually granted, and it's possible that it'll look / function quite differently in its final form, but there's no doubt that someone at Microsoft is dreaming about a sexier (if not more sellable) browser bar.