ChromeOS has always been just a Chrome browser and very little else. With the latest development build, however, Chromebook owners can try out a window manager, a taskbar, and even desktop space. It's all still on the web, but it looks a lot more like a traditional operating system.
At the moment, only owners of Acer or Samsung Chromebooks can try out the latest Dev Channel build with "Aura", the new desktop scheme. That will change soon, and we'll likely see open-source builds for notebooks of all kinds. For now, though, it's an interesting step forward. Google says Aura requires hardware acceleration to offer transitions and animations while still keeping the OS overhead very slim.
Check out more images of Aura at Google Operating System's post. Got a commercial Chromebook and tried out Aura? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Dev Channel Update for Chromebooks (19.0.1048.17) [Chrome Releases]