Google’s Pixelbook could soon run Windows 10

Google Pixelbook

It looks like Google could be preparing the ground for its Pixelbook laptop to run Windows 10 natively.

Of course, normally this top-end Chromebook runs Chrome OS, but native support for Microsoft’s operating system could be in the pipeline, at least going by recent code commits pertaining to the Pixelbook as highlighted by XDA Developers.

What’s interesting here is that there is mention of testing with the Windows Hardware Certification Kit and Windows Hardware Lab Kit, which would seem to indicate that Google is readying the laptop to be officially certified and approved by Microsoft to run Windows 10.

All of this is backed up by a story which emerged a couple of months back, with speculation that Google is working on an AltOS mode for the Pixelbook. This could allow for a second OS to be installed on the Chromebook.

Dual in the crown

Again, that nugget was uncovered in development code for the laptop, and all this points to the possibility of allowing folks to dual-boot Windows 10 alongside Chrome OS on the Pixelbook, potentially adding to the appeal of the machine in a major way, and giving it far more flexibility in terms of the software the device can run.

Before we get too carried away here, remember that whatever is happening behind the scenes could be derailed before Windows 10 support actually makes it to production hardware.

Still, it certainly seems like it’s Google’s intention to make Chromebooks more versatile machines, given the announcement of support for Linux apps last month, and of course that comes on top of being able to run Android apps on many of these devices. So, why not chuck Windows 10 and its associated software ecosystem into the mix as well?

Google’s seemingly open arms when it comes to embracing other operating systems is good to see, and contrasts with some of the accusations we’ve seen levelled at Microsoft in the past, concerning Windows 10 laptops being locked down to the OS in some manner.


Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).