Today, John Gruber wrote about Internet Explorer 9:
The new UI removes most of the junk from the UI. Kind of interesting how web browsers have evolved to expose fewer UI elements. Most apps go the other way over time.
Of course, that’s because the page/site is the real app. And like most apps they are indeed going the other way.
The browser is not really an app; it’s a shell, like the OS shell, just a runtime necessity to run the real app and provide some convenience housekeeping tools. Shells generally try to remove clutter (though admittedly this goes in waves) because they know they’re not the main attraction.
You can download the just-released Internet Explorer 9 beta here.