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Google kills Windows 10 on Chromebooks

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It appears that Google has dropped its plans to allow Windows 10 to be installed alongside Chrome OS on Chromebooks.

The plans – known internally as Project Campfire – would let Chromebook owners install Windows 10 so that they could switch between Microsoft’s operating system and Chrome OS – the default operating system made by Google that ships with Chromebooks. The feature was often referred to as Alt OS – in reference to the ability to install an alternative operating system.

While that feature would have made Chromebooks even more versatile, an eagle-eyed member of Reddit (opens in new tab) spotted that a change to the Chromium Gerrit (opens in new tab) suggest that the Alt OS feature will be deprecated – which means it will not be worked on or added to Chrome OS.

Windowless

Although Google never officially announced the feature, there will be many people who will be disappointed that it has been dropped.

The ability to install Windows 10 would have made Chromebooks even more useful, as you'd be able to run programs that aren’t supported on Google’s limited Chrome OS software.

However, it’s not entirely surprising that this feature has been dropped. Part of the appeal of Chromebooks is that they are lightweight affordable laptops with excellent battery lives – which means they usually come with low-powered components.

Chrome OS is built from the ground up to run on hardware like that, but Windows 10 is a lot more resource intensive, so would likely struggle. There’s a good chance that on many Chromebooks, using Windows 10 would have been a sluggish and annoying ordeal.

However, Microsoft is working on Windows Lite, which is a version of its operating system that’s designed for low powered devices. It would have been the perfect fit for Chromebooks, but with the Alt OS feature now dead, we may never see that happen.

Via About Chromebooks (opens in new tab)

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He's also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.