First Google Chrome OS screenshots leaked? Update: it's a fake

It's not much, in fact, these screenshots are incredibly easy to fake. Still, a hastily constructed WordPress blog has been setup to host what are claimed to be the world's first screenshots of Google's new Chrome OS -- hailed as both a Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X killer or a Google FUD generator depending upon who you're listening to. As the story is told, a Google representative demonstrated a private beta build of the OS to an anonymous Acer parts supplier yesterday, presumably somewhere in Taiwan. The picture above was grabbed breathlessly while the Google rep was distracted. Highlights of the demonstration break down as follows:

  • The "elegant" install on the Acer Extensa 4620Z laptop took about 10 minutes and 1 restart

  • Reboots desktop-to-desktop in about 25 seconds

  • It was "amazingly fast" in its stripped-down beta form

  • The blue orb on the auto-hiding "Chrome Bar" along the bottom of the UI is essentially the start menu

  • Navigating the file system can be done in "exploration" (like Windows explorer) or "browser" (search based) modes

  • The Chrome Bar can also host a search bar if configured

  • Future Chrome OS netbooks will feature an iconified Chrome key on the keyboard similar to the Windows flag key

Of course, it's a long, long time before this OS appears on next generation ARM and x86 smartnetbooks -- second half of 2010 according to the Goog -- so who knows what the interface will look like by then. One more image after the break.

[Thanks, Matthew M.]

Update: We just got another set of shots of what is purportedly the boot screen. To be honest, any of these could be faked, but we thought we'd pass along -- hopefully we'll be seeing something a bit more concrete in the coming weeks. Gallery is below.

Update 2:
Mr. Chrome OS Leak himself has come forward and confirmed his "screenshots" to be fake. Thanks, buddy. No word on this other set of pics.