Google shows off Chrome OS redesign experiment, with windows stacked in card-like view

Google is experimenting with a new version of its desktop OS, and parts of the interface looks completely different. In fact, it subtly resembles Android L.

Following last month's introduction of Material Design, a part of the upcoming Android L release that handles and reworks the visual, motion, and interaction design across all platforms and devices, Google has now announced it will eventually expand the new look of Material Design to Chrome OS.

More specifically, Francois Beaufort, a Chromium evangelist who also works at Google, has revealed a new Chromium OS project called Athena. The project will bring a "new kind of user experience" to Chrome OS-powered computers. He even shared an image that provides a look at the first draft of Athena.

You can see a collection of windows stacked in a card-like view, for instance, with some minimal management controls. This setup actually looks a lot like the multitasking view coming with the next Android update. You can also see that Google moved the app launcher and search feature to a bar at the bottom.

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Keep in mind again that this is first draft stuff. Everything is new and likely undergoing constant revisions, so Athena and the overall look of Chrome OS will be much more refined when and if Google decides to release a consumer version. There's no word yet on when that'll be though.

If you're a developer or risk-taker and want to test Athena right now, you can check out the source code and compile Chromium OS. Don't be surprised if things look and act a little whacky on your Chromebook.