First, let me say that I've been keeping up on most (though not all) of the changes going into Internet Explorer 7 (set for release late this year, along with Windows Vista). All in all, I think the goals they've set and the work they've done are great. They're making a browser that is safer by default, they're adding anti-phising technology (I'm not too sure about this bit, but I'll leave that for another time), they're adding browsing features other modern browsers have had for a couple of years (tabbed browsing and integrated search box), and, best of all, they are making huge strides in standards compliance, especially in regards to CSS.

All that said, the screenshot of the toolbar area for the newest release looks pretty sloppy. The link below is to a post by Jonathan Rentzch. He's adding to some comments people have made on the IE Blog, and I tend to agree: that new interface is not terribly user friendly, nor is it 'easy on the eyes'. I especially like his last point: he's got images of the IE7 toolbar and the Safari toolbar, and he points out that the latter compresses better as an image file because it's got less noise.

This is still an early release, to be sure, and maybe the UI will get some improvement before actual release, possibly based on some feedback from the beta.

Link: Stop Stop Stop Hurting the Internet.