I’m a little surprised by the fact that a publication with such reputation uses Ubuntu as an equivalent of Linux. I’m sure you’re pretty aware of the existence of hundreds of Linux distributions. Ubuntu is probably the most popular, but using it as a synonymous of Linux is wrong.
In fact, comparing Google Chrome OS’ Aura interface with Windows 7 or Mac OS X is correct, but not with Ubuntu: since 11.04 (a year ago) Ubuntu uses the Unity shell, an interface on top of GNOME 3 that no longer presents a dock bar on the low border: it does present a dock on the left, yes, but again, the comparison is unfortunate.
You forgot to mention also the new launcher screen (similar to LaunchPad on Mac OS X, or to Dash in Unity), the other big change in the new release of Google Chrome OS. But I agree with your conclusions. Chrome OS feels like it belongs nowhere.
Regards from Spain