The master plan for Chrome OS was to move everybody into the cloud — away from complex file systems and desktops — and towards the Web browser as the operating system. Having failed to build much momentum, Google's giving the OS a more traditional desktop experience — one that takes cues from Windows and OS X.
Google Operating System reports that the latest developer channel release of Chrome OS brings a "desktop, taskbar, apps on the desktop, wallpapers and overlapping windows" to the We browser-based Chrome OS.
Dubbed "Aura," the new interface is a "hardware-accelerated user interface framework that offers rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects." It's available for Samsung and Acer Chromebooks, but not Google's own Cr-48 genericbook.
The addition of a desktop and overlapping windows is interesting because it goes against the fundamental blueprint of Chrome OS. The original vision was that because 90 percent of people immediately go online as soon as their computer starts up, why not just boot directly to the Web browser? All of your data lives in the cloud — accessible from any computer. That was Chrome OS.
VentureBeat says that Google's making a shift because the original vision wasn't familiar to consumers. Tablets and smartphones are paving the way for a "post-PC" world, but we're still too conditioned to leave the desktop behind. People still look for their wallpapers and desktop. I loved the Chromebook concept. Shame the hardware is nothing more netbook junk.
Keep an eye on Chrome OS news in the coming weeks. Sony's rumored to be working on a Chromebook of its own and other PC makers are said to be putting powerful Ivy Bridge processors into new models to replace the slow Atom processors in the first run of Chromebooks.
Like they say, if you fail at first, pick yourself up and try again.