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The UI for Internet Explorer 12 could look like a mix of Chrome and Firefox

A new rumor claims that the next version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser for PCs, IE12, will have a flat design that is described as a mix of what's being used for Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox browsers.

Neowin, using unnamed sources, says that the tabs in IE12 will be on top of the URL bar and will look like rectangles. The report says they will start on the far left of the browser window. The back, forward and refresh buttons are supposed to be below the tabs and next to the URL bar.

The report also says that IE12 will have some kind of extension support, similar to what Chrome has. The desktop version of IE11 does support plug-ins but the Modern UI version of IE11 on Windows 8 and 8.1, shown above, did away with third party plug-in support

Keep in mind that even if this new report is accurate, it's more than possible that Microsoft will make changes to IE12 before its official launch. IE12 is expected to be included in the next version of Windows, code named "Threshold", but it's possible that it won't be ready by the time that a rumored public preview of Threshold may be released in late September or early October.

What do you think about the prospect of IE12 having a look that's closer to Chrome or Firefox?

Source: Neowin

147 Comments
  • Waiting for this to happen
  • 768 problems, verticality's the only one
  • Wait, I take that back. Dysfunctional rendering across a plethora of sites from banks to telcos to shopping sites, that too
  • Looks fine to me.
  • Oh great! Let's not lead we'll follow. Microsoft moving backwards, again.
  • I'm more interested in a redesign of the Metro version of IE.  I find it really confusing.
  • I have always disliked IE. Thank the lord for 3rd party options. IE is the slowest of all the browsers available.
  • Take 64bit windows and it beats chrome from cold start so you can be done before it starts up. Same is the story for firefox and opera. So currently its the best out there. Sure it has flaws so occationaly I have to fire up other browsers but its kind of sad really how bad rep it gets but is still the better alternative.
  • No way. Gross. I hate Chrome's UI. Hate the tabs on top. Can we prevents IE automatic updates? I don't want anything Chrome-like.
  • "The report also says that IE12 will have some kind of extension support, similar to what Chrome has" OMG.. Please.
  • Tabs above address bar?  So less browser space?  Or I guess there will be no title bar space. I moved to IE when Firefox copied Chrome.  I hope IE doesn't do silly rounded tabs too.
  • Well they state it will be like Chrome/Firefox, so likely no titlebar space.  A welcome change.
  • Use opera. Has square tabs
  • Opera is Chrome, just skinned.
  • I talked to someone awhile ago that said UC Browser was a skin of IE. The answer to you and this other guy is NO it's not a skin. UC Browser uses the same engine as IE and Opera and Chrome use the same engine. This doesn't mean they are the same but use the same same building blocks to construct a browser. I can name multiple browsers that use the same engine (since there is like 3 or 4 engines that are most common in browsers) and show you that they are not just skins.
  • You know that tabs always visible above the address bar is an optional setting in IE11 metro mode, right?
  • Unfortunately, there's a lot of people who call themselves techies who don't do their homework. It's great that you pointed that out to them.
  • I know, I often have a depressive episode reading the comments here.
  • Welcome to the Club! But the worse is Verge. Packed with technically advanced, marketing material repeating drones. They confuse memorizing words from a digital brochure with knowledge.
  • Naah The Verge commenters can be all right. It's the main page articles, like today's leak on The Verge, that brings the technophobe Windows h8rs (I just coined that) out from the woodwork. Just read GrzegorzWidła's comments and you'll be _all_ in the know ;)
    http://www.theverge.com/users/GrzegorzWidla
  • One man army...
  • It's realy unlikely that Microsoft will use rounded tabs.
  • I like the tabs and address bar on the same row too, went away from chrome and don't want to go back.
  • I'm waiting for it.....
  • Many news these days.... Great!
  • I don't think we should be sad for that ;)
  • Is welcomed
  • Great news. I'm waiting for it.
  • I wish its true....IE definitely needs a better UI.
  • The UI also ears the battery like how chromes ui is. Eating a lot of battery everytime. Where as internet explorer though it looks little dull but is uses data efficiently.
  • I really want MS to rebrand IE with some other name and with a different logo too in the upcoming Windows 'Threshold'. Make it cool. And also i would like to see more html5test score. Currently its way behind there.
  • That's fine as long as I can still put tabs and the URL bar inline.
  • The extensions on Chrome is one of the only reasons holding me back, so if IE12 gets actually robust extension store I will happily switch!
  • Couldn't agree more. Really disappointed in how Chrome has turned out the past few years, but extensions are killer.
  • Ok.
  • Meh, as long as the bastard works....which is what it technically is, a combination of different UI'S......
  • Does this also apply for the desktop IE? Does this version also get UI changes?
  • Actually, the article is about desktop IE.
  • The question is will it be at par with chrome ?
  • Of course not, that would be a downgrade for us IE users.
  • Downgrade!!! Seriously!! we need extension support, Bookmark and page sync support for all devices. Better rendering, current developer tools for IE is a joke, it is slow as hell :( it is just a few reason why IE sucks big time, especially syncing between devices!!
  • Ehm... let me check my surface again cause I thought the bookmark and visiting pages sync were already there between my phone and my surface (logged in with the same account). Scrolling in IE and FF is way more smoother than Chrome Current developer tool for IE 11 is good enough, I don't think it's "slow as hell". Now let's talk about how's Chrome fucking up my machine's memory, hanging it around, freeze up browser, built in developer tool sometimes renders Chrome itself to crash, or make it become super minimized, leave not a single chance to maximize it again without completely close it and open again. However, I agree that the extension store in Chrome or FF is pretty good and want it on IE as well. Although I only install Adsblock, some user agent switchers and cookie editor.
  • i was talking about IE11 desktop on my windows 8.1 pc. not the surface. Oh they even didn't bother releasing surface series in INDIA, thank you msft. and yes, after upgrading to win8.1(horrible os) i found that chrome freezes a lot, i am currently using Opera, as they have the same core engine as chrome without google crap . Firefox is slow and mostly bloated with unwanted things, chrome...... well i don't like google that much,............ IE11, still bad.
  • The IE on the Surface is the same IE as you're using. :|
  • did i miss the sync setting and option on my desktop IE11!!! Checked again but no sync setting found. Are you talking about Metro IE (metro mode)!!
  • It just sort of syncs stuff like passwords with your Microsoft account. :|
  • Chrome freezes and suddenly Win8.1 become an horrible OS. MS don't bring Surface to my country either but I still can get one. Firefox is fast but still have some issues because Mozilla is not a billion dollar company with profit like Microsoft or Google. You think Chrome is fast because the engine itself eat a ton of CPU and RAM and reduce your battery life on any windows devices. Incase you're using a PC, then you can't see that because you never open task manager to see yourself. I open 20 tabs with FF on my 2008 PC and still smooth as hell while Chrome is f*cking freezed my PC! I have a Surface Pro 2 too and already unistall Chrome because a ton of issues but I'm too lazy to list. You're just a Google fanboy but don't want to admit yourself.
  • "Chrome freezes and suddenly Win8.1 become an horrible OS" no, i chrome is not the fault. I said horrible because, after upgrading i already got a BSOD, which i never got in windows 7. and also modern apps only run in full screen, pretty much use less for me! Btw, the app store is horrible, fake and useless craps.   "Firefox is fast but still have some issues because Mozilla is not a billion dollar company with profit like Microsoft or Google." True, but the only issue is it is loaded with too much crap for normal user, like scratchpad. style editor.... why the heck a normal user need those option in first place!! For web developing they are good. They should make a normal user and developer version.   "You think Chrome is fast because the engine itself eat a ton of CPU and RAM and reduce your battery life on any windows devices." I know that, but i am on PC not laptop so no battery issue. And my i5 and 4gb ram is enough for 20+ tab.   "because you never open task manager to see yourself." I know chrome, opera creates a lot of process, and yeah i open task manager 5+ times day, to stop unnecessary process. Stop guessing things.   "Chrome is f*cking freezed my PC" i already agreed to that 2 post above!   "You're just a Google fanboy but don't want to admit yourself." i own a Lumia, all my PC running windows 8.1, and windows 7. I am currently learning VS and C#, so that i can contribute to ms store!! and i am a fanboy!!....great. I love windows 8.1 boot time, and smooth UI, but it is ugly on PC, useless full screen crapp. I left chrome, because of google services and moved to opera, because opera is coming to WP, and syncing bookmark is quite useful. and FYI, here is a thread i created for how windows 9 should be: http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-9/302541-windows-9-concept-what-do-you-wanna-see.html   I love ms but things i hate: 1. IE (still useless)
    2. XBOX ONE (ugly, big, expensive, weak, paid multiplayer and other craps....... a cable box)
    3. Surface pro (i hate it because MSFT didn't crae for our country, incl lumia 930)
    4. MSFT and GOOGLE fanboys 
    5. Metro UI for PC
    6. Bing (only great in USA, otherwise it is crap)
     
  • Well guess what, they already made it "like iPhone" it doesn't get worse than that.
  • Agree ;-) Max
  • Maybe ie 12 is included in WP 9?
  • no more "Phone"
  • Why not
  • OS is supposed to be just called Windows....no phone word in it.
  • I know. Just wondered if IE 12 is for WP 9 also.
  • No it won't. Mostly due to the fact that there won't be a Windows Phone 9.
  • There will be a windows PHONE 9 but apparently not called phone. Possibly called mobile or maybe something else. Oh and idk if it will be called 9 but yes there will be a new IE for windows phone whatever WP will be called
  • NT 7.0 (Windows 9/WP9) is unified 64-bit only.
  • Beautiful. Just beautiful.
  • If the extension support brings me the few extensions I use on Chrome, I'll happily switch to IE. I've been waiting for this for quite a while...
  • IE10 was the first IE I liked, 11 made it better. I stopped using Firefox as it has become slow and not available across all of my windows devices. I have never used Chrome and never will as I refuse to be tracked, mined and monetized by the Google mothership. I don't care what it looks like as long as it doesn't look like iOS or Android
  • I've used all the browsers ( Safari, Chrome, Opera, Firefox ) and always come back to Internet Explorer. Any Improvements they want to make are O.K. with me.
  • How do you guys "search" on the page on  mobile IE ?
  • Three dots (...)
    find on page
  • Should I remove my explanation? I think we both posted at the same time... =P
  • Thanks!!
  • It's the third option under the '...' And it says Find On Page, as per the modern site on tablets with the wrench icon =D
  • You can also hit CTRL+f and it brings it right up.
  • WP
  • IE has best UI and speed imo. It just needs to be available on more platforms like Android and iOS. Posted via the WPC App for Android using LG G2
  • About time hopefully its as fast as chrome too but not as heavy on cpu
  • Three things that Chrome does that IE must do for me to consider switching: 1. Proper extensions (IE12 check)
    2. Pinning tabs (I have a lot open and they take up a lot of space, so this is very helpful.)
    3. Multiple and separate instances/users (Rather than rely on multiple account support on each individual service I use, it's a lot smoother just to have separate instances going logged in with distinct account credentials.) If the latter two (or equivalent features) are in IE12, I'll happily switch. Either way, glad to see Microsoft pushing IE forward.
  • #1. I want extension!!!
  • #3 is in since maybe IE 8, but the limitation is it's a new window rather than a new tab. File -> New session. If you hide your menu bar like I do, press Alt first to make it temporarily show up.
  • Hm...just tried that but it seems to just be separate windows. I loaded Gmail in both, the logged out in one, then refreshed the other. The other was also signed out - meaning it's sharing my log in status across the two sessions. I could be doing something wrong but this doesn't seem like what I want.
  • You are right about GMail unfortunately. I guess it depends on if the site uses a persistent cookie versus a session cookie. I've used the 'New session' successfully in the development of my work's website. Mileage may vary I suppose.
  • Until Internet Explorer has all of the add-ons Firefox offers I'll continue to pass on it.
  • Give me extensions.
  • :D
  • I perfer it to still tie in with windows explorer ui then move away from it
  • Blecch...I don't really like the way the other browsers look tbh, but then I'm just a loser who likes IE and Bing anyway, so what do I know? =[
  • I'm with you. I don't want IE to look like Firefox or Chrome. I like IE the way it is now.
  • I've used all the major browsers. IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Maxthon, Lunascape. I always came back to Maxthon in the end. I'm part of their closed Beta Labs group so I've got access to their new browser MxNitro. Lightning fast, faster than IE even. But its still an early alpha build so its going to be awhile. :P
  • I hope they aren't burning too many calories on cosmetic stuff. Cosmetics have never been what held back IE, its the poor plug-in/extension support (adblock, duh) and the inconsistent rendering of pages and being late to the game on useful features like a bookmarks bar, new tab page with thumbnails, sync...in short, substance, not style.   The way the grey favorites bar, menu bar and status bar look against the transparent Aero chrome is pretty dismal, but changing is pretty meaningless when it comes to adoption.   
  • Ad Block Plus is available on IE and has been for some time.  :|
  • Never said it wasn't. Said the support for it was poor. Adblock is a much worse experience on IE than the others for both developers and users. 
  • IE has really gotten a lot better. I used Firefox for years because it was so much faster than IE. But no longer. The IE of the last few years is really good. So good I stopped using Firefox without even realizing it initially.
  • I'm not really fond of tabs above the address bar, or this move to hide the traditional application menu bar. But I'm probably in the minority. I'm hoping those are merely just 'defaults' and Microsoft will give users the ability to customize positions and visibility of certain elements.
  • As for it looking like Chrome or FF, I don't like it. IE's current design kicks ass. But some plugin support would be more than welcome.
  • That actually may be good if they borrow positive things from those browsers
  • As long as it is a decent browser I wouldn't mind anything
  • I HATE the look of Chrome and 'New FF'. I skin FF to get the old look back.
  • It's about time internet explorer bring itself at par with chrome or Firefox. A better settings tab and more cleaner UI is all I need and I will ditch chrome for good... Believe me it hurts watching myself supporting a Google product but I have no options :(
  • I wish they'd go the other way. I have to spend ages with addons to make Firefox look like it used to. I'd use IE if it weren't for how ugly the menu bar looks when enabled. When will the non-Chrome browsers realise I would use Chrome if I wanted a browser that looked like Chrome. I don't.
  • If this is so (not sure how UI would change anything, since when "the internet" thinks of IE they think of IE 6-8's UI, not of 9-11), they better add an option to revert to the current minimialist design. I have no need of extensions, and if I ever need to use something close to it, the accelerator button works fine. Also, IE has adblock built in - it's called tracking protection, which blocks other redundant elements as well (like those social media buttons).
  • Here's a short video on how to enable tracking protection, for the curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dFHe25BQDY
  • Yup
  • The extensions would be huge - that is probably the #1 reason that I don't use IE at this point, as compared to Chrome. While things like Lastpass have plugins for IE Desktop, they don't work anywhere near as seamless as they do on Chrome, and Metro IE doesn't support them at all.  My only other request is for more 'customizability' in IE's appearance (like custome new-tab pages), much like Chrome currently has.
  • So the YouTube still LINKS? but not an 3rd party app until then?
  • Just get rid of this two browser thing and its fine
  • IE is fine the way it is. IE rocks!
  • Actually, IE11 is a very decent browser.
  • If they keep it square and minimalistic I'm fine with it as long as they leave alone the metro version (except for add-ons, I'd love Lastpass support). It is perfect now and the best touch browser I've ever used on a tablet.
  • I wish MS would make 2 browsers. Much of what holds IE back are the limitations placed in it for enterprise. They favor stability, security, and dependability for established and official web standards above speed and support for new features. If MS made a 2nd browser that supported all the latest and greatest stuff, that would be a cool option. And... Doesn't "Threshold" sound like a cool name for a web browser. ;)
  • Needs better Flash support..
  • Finally, something really needed! :)
  • If they make it look more like Firefox or Chrome that's a good thing, as those two browsers look a lot better than IE.  I wish they wouldn't be so stuck on the square corners though.  Square corners are ugly.
  • About time. Needs to be lighter/smoother/less vulnerability. Can anyone say why IE is better than Chrome/Safari? Or is it subjective?
  • So? Still I wont use it
  • That's pretty knee-jerk. Why won't you at least take a look?
  • No, because it's cool to hate IE.
  • Ok...
  • IE 12 should have: - better HTML5 support then any other browser - new flat UI - multi-account support - full extension system like Chrome - full sync for bookmarks, history, extensions - searchable settings, history, bookmarks   then and only then will I consider switching back.
  • To IE's defend: IE11 already syncs bookmarks, history, passwords and tabs. history is searchable, but only quite inconviniently... IE11 is pretty flat imo.
  • I'd rather they fix plugin support. From what I understand plugins are written in C++, and not a scripting language like Firefox and Chrome. This makes plugins hard to write and prone to security issues, not to mention it makes it impossible to run on ARM. This is why you don't find nearly the range of plugins for IE compared to the others. I'd say fixing the plugin situation is more important than tab placement.
  • so funny to see IE users here. In real life I never met a single person who uses IE. Chrome & Firefox rules everywhere or in my country.
  • IE UI ia perfect in my opinion...Only bookmark management is a little "old" ;)
  • Yes please!
  • Will it support Windows 7?
  • Lets forget looks lets get the HTML 5 index numbers and performance optimal over Chrome and Firefox. Tired of cute looks with Windows lets get functions.
  • great to see them adding the option for extensions
  • Yesssss!
  • I thought they wanted a faster release?
  • What IE12 needs: Capability to render Webkit stuff like the Windows Phone version Chrome-like Add-Ons and Add-On store New UI for desktop: Better looking favourites bar, easier to view & search history, a new Internet settings page (that current one is used since Windows 98 and is very confusing - why wasnt it updated to the Windows 7 control panel style?) Even better integration of Bing into the adress bar Better download management
  • I like having the address bar inline with the tabs. If that's still an option, I'll be happy.
  • I prefer "Ultron" over IE   ;)
  • Can't figure out which was the best so decided to split the difference? Shame because I like the Metro version of IE. 
  • If it's just the desktop version, then fine, whatever. But they better leave the tabs and address bar where they are in metro IE. One of the strengths of the metro version is that it was designed around where your fingers actually are, and IE on the phone and metro environment has always been smart enough to put that address bar and tabs at the bottom of the screen, where your fingers/hands are. Let the other platforms have their tendonitis-inducing UI placement, but keep metro smart please.
  • Sound like some nice additions. Support for addons is long overdue. Honestly I feel like they should make IE cross platform again. Bring it to Android and iOS, as well as Mac and even Linux. Bring along syncing of bookmarks, history and passwords, just like chrome. Integrate Cortana or something like that or integrate with other MS services. Show that IE aims to be a real contender. Every other MS product is going cross platform, why not IE as well? This would also be a way to promote bing and the rebooted MSN.
  • Hoping it maintains the touch-friendly UI. MS has the real tendency to take away features in the process of upgrading.
  • Mobile version? ;)
  • Sound good. Any news on terraria for windows phone? CAN'T WAIT
  • I don't care, just figure out a way to make IE stop crashing all the time. I've used IE as my primary browser on numerous machines, including some with very high-end gaming specs, and they all constantly give me "Sorry, Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close." errors. Usually they work okay at first, but somewhere in their cookies or temp data that is not possible to wipe, even with plugins disabled, things quickly get to a state that causes constant errors like the above. I'm sure everyone who uses IE sees these frequently. I used to think this was due to hardware limitations, but I now have 12 virtual cores, 24GB of RAM, a high end 4GB video card, and none of them are ever near their limitations when this happens. Clearly this is a problem with the software itself--something that was not the case with earlier versions of IE. Fix your browser Microsoft.
  • I'm happy for the new features but I really hope the design doesn't look like Firefox or Chrome, I dislike the look of both those browsers. They should be looking at the modern IE as a notion of where to evolve their UI next. Something cleaner and simpler (and more functional) than they have now would be great.
  • But still perform like IE aka shit Posted from my Samsung galaxy S5
  • And yet when I use IE 11 on either my Surface or MBA, it's fast.
  • No way, I hate this. I like the address bar and tabs on the same line, the way it is now. It was innovative and different, why move on to something that has been old for several years now?
  • Tbh I like ie I prefer it to chrome or Firefox.
  • Give me Silverlight in Metro IE, please!
  • We need add ons like Firefox!
  • Dear MS, be original, please.
  • Why can't IE just be IE? People who are used to use Chrome/Firefox aren't going to switch just because IE changes their interface.  Personally I like IE to be different.  I hate the almost uniformity that Chrome/Firefox has now (and Opera, but that's because they now use blink like Chrome)
  • I guess it's smart make it easy for chrome heads to use. But I think they will stay away from outer no matter what it looks like. If any thing it will probably drive more people to Google. Personally I thought they nailed it with the metro version of IE 11. Fast super secure with no extensions let me share so easy with the charms bar.
    I use the current is because I like it. If it feels like chrome next go round I'll be disappointed.
  • But I like the current IE UI D: However, if they could add native user script support, I'm sure most extension nuts could be made relatively happy.
  • Overall, I prefer the UI of IE11 over Chrome/Firefox. Accessing favorites/bookmarks WITHOUT a bookmark/favorites bar is the simplest on IE11. I also like the flat, squared appearance of IE11. It just fits in well with the flat Windows 8/8.1 UI. What I don't care for in IE11 is that it just feels slower compared to Chome/Firefox. If IE12 fixes that, I would be happy.
  • Expecting Microsoft Account integration for Bookmarks and History Sync in the latest version... Badly missing this feature in current IE.
  • They don't have to just embellish and make it "Like" something else. People don't just change due to interface. I have serious rendering issues on mobile and desktop, lack of essential add ons and customizability of interface, lack of possibility to select a search engine that's not Google or Bing (I use none of those for my research job and Google with filtered results through an add-on for translating work as Bing results are inferior in many languages). If they implement extension support and then the extensions are as bad as the apps on WP there are little chances of success.