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I've been surprised just how much work and play I'm able to get done on Chrome OS. I wouldn't call a new tab a desktop, but I would call Chrome OS complete enough for the vast majority of coffee-shop browsing Mac & PC users.
It's quite interesting how so many people spend $1K+ on their MacBooks and do nothing more than surf the internet with it. Sigh, what a waste of money.
In my opinion, the "apps" on the New Tab Page count as desktop icons, the New Tab Page background image (introduced by a theme) constitutes a desktop background, and the icons you see on the top right count as appindicators. I have no idea why that can't be a desktop.