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Athena is a brand new project the Chromium OS team is experimenting with in order to bring a new kind of user experience. As you can see below, the first draft consists in a collection of windows with some simple window management.

By simply checking out the chromium source code and compiling the convenient "athena_main" target with ninja -C out/Release athena_main, you'll be able to follow the Work In Progress.

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After two weeks with Android L I've already acclimated to the card UI and love it. ChromeOS falling in line with that will be bliss!
For now, I find it…awful. Okay, I’m rude, but I’m wondering how it can help to do multitasking, in what this new design is useful? And about the nice argument, I don’t find it nice on the screenshot. But I did not used it, for now, so perhaps it’s useful. I hope this project is better than what I think right now.

EDIT: It is a bit like Windows Flip 3D, no?
+Aaron Jaeger, if i had to guess, i'd say a user experience based more on touch (possibly tablet).  i'm only speculating based on my assumption that a card-based interface makes little sense with a cursor.
+J. Weeks You may be right. The scroll wheel on a mouse or two-finger scrolling on a touchpad would work in this situation if need be. I would prefer more touch, though. Touch seems a more natural way to interact with things. We're born with fingers after all, not mice.
+Aaron Jaeger, i agree that two finger scrolling would work here too.  

although, i suppose i don't find anything wrong with chrome os' current implementation of multi-window management (overview mode), so i can't think of any other reason to re-tool it.
+J. Weeks it could be there are plans for more touch-focused devices like you said.
+Lunix Watt I think we're seeing a very rough draft of a work in progress. Expect a good deal of refinement when/if it's released.
+Aaron Jaeger Yeah, this is why I precise for now. It is the first shot. By the way, I use very rarely any touch device expect touchpad on laptop, who are not real touch devices.
These colours are so 20 years ago. 8 bit or what :D
If you really want to do work, you need  to look at multiple windows at the same time; tabs doesn't cut it. 
Is it just me or does this image on give us a small glimpse into a much larger moving image.  More design, more interface is coming...

Thanks +François Beaufort this does finally answer some questions, but raises more.  It also gets us excited :)
Yes but it is cumbersome compared to say what you can do (in terms of windows management) on a Mac.
there are some windows i've seen that actually HAD this layout, I really liked it, wouldn't mind it looking like this all the time personally :)
How will this affect performance of the HP 11 Chromebook ? Is google working on chrome os with ARM in mind ? Just curious because I am thinking about getting a HP 11 I really like the way it looks just worried about future performance and support.
This is not a final product people, it will go through many iterations before it makes it to a final release. This is the first time the first draft or iteration has been compiled for the public to see.
Can't tell what's going on from the screen. Perhaps a side-by-side or animated gif?
+Sebastian Carewe Yes, I am hoping/presuming that the background and blocks of colour instead of icons are placeholders. They really don't look nice right now. Not a huge fan of the grey title bar on windows either. Should be white... or perhaps a lighter grey. In fact, if they are trying to use the grey to indicate that a window is out of focus, it would be a lot nicer to simply shade the whole window to darken the whole thing.
+luke timothy These are all placeholders - if you look through the Chromium code commits, everything is still REALLY early on, but it sounds like a complete revamp of the interface, particularly the launcher and overview mode.
ChromeTab is coming ...
New type of user experiance?? Are you saying the current one is crap? If not, stop wasting your time on things that don't need it.
It basically looks like a lightweight, old window manager for X11, circa 1988-1992.
+Jackson Bloomston You do realise that François writes about brand new rough prototypes that have just been added to the code, and not completed or polished, right? Think of it like a look into the development process (like when you see rough renders of movies) rather than showing you the product.
I hate it.. looks like an amateur designed website.  Seriously, it looks like a dumbed down version of Windows Metro.
+Matt Giuca I like that the development and design process is open, but a man is entitled to his opinions.  
Nice looking shadows, hopefully they are using a similar implantation as the Android L shadows.
Beautiful design but I actually like seeing the tabs sitting side by side in my chrome browser more for two reasons (for better productivity). 1) I know in advance where my fingers should stop before I do the three finger swiping  2) I can use ctrl + num to call the particular tab that I want. The new design seems to fit a tablet or phone more. 
If is this ... crap will be on PC version, i am going back to FF. Seriously, it looks bad. 
Wow, lots of people reacting to the mock up items in this shot instead of the subtle design.  Especially considering this is experimental.
Uh, I hope the goal of this isn't aesthetics. It's pretty hard on the eyes at this point.
UI is always the MOST difficult thing in any compute device, and can make or break it's acceptance.  Some will hate and others will love.  Just gotta get that ratio right! ;vP
But if it let's me do things even quicker, that's key for me - more than looks - we all get acclimatized to looks anyway.
I find these responses very amusing tho.
Just want to remind people commenting that this is a very early prototype. We will not be shipping anything that looks like this; it's more about the interaction paradigm than the exact looks.

Think about it like a prototype car model. The skeleton is there, but it might change around quite a bit. But there's no metal plating, no paint and polish. So it doesn't look like a real car at all.
Touch-oriented, early days, looking forward to more refinement.
+stuart b I am sure "L" will be a great release, but in Chrome OS, you get new releases every few weeks, sometimes even more often if you're on the development or Beta channel. That's a key factor in all of this - layering the OS such that apps producers can have the most stability as well as the most accelerated improvements in underlying OS functionality.
Lol, I like the bikeshed shoutout!
Can`t wait for Chrome OS new improvements. Improved file manager, Quality and variety of applications. Dealing with a vast variety of file formats.
ChromeOS for tables and phones, anyone?
Personally I prefer the Ash Aura window manager. Anyone else.  ASH AURA: 
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