Google Chrome About To Get A Windows-Like Makeover?

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Google’s Chrome OS may be getting makeover that will make it look more like, well, an OS. The latest developer version of the web-based operating system contains code for Aura, a redesigned user interface. Aura provides desktop and window management system much like what you find in Windows or OS X.

Currently Chrome OS’s user interface consists of one window of the Chrome browser. The only apps on the computer are web apps run from inside this browser window, and in place of windows you have browser tabs. Aura puts something behind that one browser window, giving Chrome OS a more traditional look and feel. It adds support for multiple windows open in the same desktop environment, as well as a Windows-like taskbar and an OS X-like app launch pad. It’s not yet clear whether Chrome OS will also be getting support for genuine apps, or will remain focused on web apps from the Chrome Web Store.

Here’s a screenshot of the latest version of Chrome OS in action. As you can see, it shows two windows in a desktop environment. The taskbar - “shelf,” as Google calls it - apparently consists of the icons at the bottom of the screen, while the grid icon appears to be the app launcher.

Chrome OS with Aura

While Chrome OS has arguably been little more than a side project for Google, there have been indications recently that Google is serious about making it a contender in the market. Two weeks ago there were reports that Sony had a new Chrome OS notebook in the works, while last week brought news that upcoming Chrome OS computers would be getting the Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors.

What do you think of Chrome OS’s new look? Does it make you more interested to check out Google’s operating system? Let us know in the comments.

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