World of Warcraft: New Models on the Horizon?

Update: as commenters have pointed out, these are actually very old models from pre-1.0 World of Warcraft, so placing them in Old Hillsbrad is just another Blizzard joke. See the wayback machine for more screenshots.

Months ago Blizzard representatives confirmed a slight polygon increase in the Burning Crusade expansion. I hadn't noticed any significant change, but I've recently come across several new styles of human NPCs. After two years with the same hairstyles and face textures, the differences are striking.

img1 img2 img3

The textures have always given some variety to the players with hair being the most dramatic difference, but these new styles are a far cry from what we've grown accustomed to.

compare

So, this raises the question: are the new styles restricted to NPCs, an attempt to differentiate players from non-players? Is Blizzard expanding player model choices, but hasn't yet incorporated the changes into the character creation screen? Are they adding the salon people have been asking about for so long? I think we'll find out soon.