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Chromebooks likely to get Windows dual-boot support, but it might not be feasible for many devices

The Google Pixelbook could be dual-booting Windows 10 soon. (Source: Google)
The Google Pixelbook could be dual-booting Windows 10 soon. (Source: Google)
Earlier this year code commits showed up in ChromeOS that showed Google was adding support for 'AltOS.' New commits now show that the alternative operating system is likely to be Windows 10, but feasibility for the average Chromebook is questionable.

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New ChromeOS code commits reviewed by XDA-Developers have identified that Google is likely to bring Windows 10 dual-boot support for various Chromebooks. Previously there was speculation about Windows support for the Pixelbook.

However, it might not make much sense to extend this to other Chromebooks. One of their big selling points is ease of administration and handling of updates, the other is that ChromeOS runs well on low-end hardware and therefore is available at the extreme budget end of the market. These often aren't the most compelling devices outside of specific use cases (e.g. education, a second device to complement a desktop, etc).

The top-end Pixelbook comes with a 7th gen Intel i5-7Y57 or i7-7Y75 Y-series processor, 8 or 16 GB of RAM, and 128, 256, or 512 GB of storage. This is excessive for a cloud-based operating system such as ChromeOS, but the hardware — both internal and external — would be well suited to an ultraportable Windows notebook. The ability to run Windows 10 alongside ChromeOS would be useful here.

But this move makes less sense when we consider a regular Chromebook with 32 GB of eMMC storage doesn’t have space to properly run two operating systems. Unless you really want ChromeOS there isn’t much benefit to installing Windows here over buying a super-cheap Windows laptop like the similarly priced HP Stream 11 or Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1.

We like choices, so we think Windows 10 dual-boot support is a positive thing for consumers, it just doesn’t seem as logical on a regular Chromebook as it is for the Pixelbook.

Update: In the time between researching/writing this article and publishing it, there has been a new comment in the code commits that specified this would be a Pixelbook exclusive feature.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 08 > Chromebooks likely to get Windows dual-boot support, but it might not be feasible for many devices
Craig Ward, 2018-08-16 (Update: 2018-08-16)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.