Wow, those icons really are awful looking. If they want to go for a flatish icon look they should go old school and do a modern take on this:
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We're dealing with the KB3008923 IE Dialog issue here. The others sound even worse. I spent a day recovering from an update that BSODd me several months back. I don't install updates automatically anymore because of that.
Changes to how testing is done at MS not going to plan?
(the "google." meant that I suspect a variety of google ctld's/regional sites might be affected, so I don't want to single out any)
I liked the black bar menu better too.
AFAIK the black bar is gone. I guess they didn't bother to remove it for old browsers, probably due to the implementation of its replacement. In the new design the various Google "apps" can be accessed from the little 3x3 square icon in the upper right of the page.
This all happened last year. Welcome to the future.
None of this is IE's fault.
Well, they have said that they plan to move to a more continuous release cycle of bug fixes and OS features, so there wouldn't be much use for major versions other than as rollup releases. I seem to remember similar aspirations for Windows 8, but after that debacle, they have to put out a major release to distance themselves and set a new baseline. If they can keep the Windows 10 brand unblemished, they could stick with it for years, perhaps doing Mac OS Xesque point releases as rollups every once in a while.
Or as WTWF opines, they may give up after a year or two and go back to the blockbuster release cycle.