A partnership with Parallels brings Windows apps to Chromebooks through a virtual machine.
If you're one of the many people wishing your
We learned earlier that Google
Your Chromebook will run Windows inside its own virtual machine.
Once you have the virtual machine running Windows loaded, you can use it to install other applications, like
All of this needs to be simple enough for everyone to use.
And simplicity is the key here. It's always been possible to run Windows inside a virtual machine on a Chromebook, but it involved booting your Chromebook to a full-fledged
That's just too difficult for most people to do. Since people want to use a Chromebook but have a need for Windows programs, a solution needed to be figured out if Google wanted to entice more people to buy into Chrome OS. Asking people to install a new bootloader so they could boot Linux and Chrome, or even asking people to navigate a Linux desktop is more than casual users will want to try.
Since any Windows application is inside a Parallels virtual machine,
Running Windows this way keeps your Chromebook's security features fully intact.
Perhaps the more exciting news is that Google and Parallels partnership will also extend and eventually include Parallels' Coherence feature, which allows you to set everything up then simply launch a Windows program from a desktop icon without booting up a full and separate virtual machine.
This would allow users to install those Windows programs they need and treat them as native Chrome apps; open them when they are needed and close them once they are finished. You would still need a licensed copy of Windows and a licensed copy of the software you want to use, but once the installation is done you would think you were simply using another Chrome OS app.
The bigger issue that may dampen your excitement is the hardware inside your Chromebook. One of Chrome's best features is its ability to run on meager hardware that doesn't have the power to run Microsoft Windows very well. That's why a $300 Chromebook runs fine but a $300 laptop running Windows 10 doesn't — Windows needs a lot more "oomph" to power it.
Don't expect your cheap Chromebook to run every Windows program, but the ones you need will run fine.
You probably won't be running Adobe Photoshop on your
I've used Parallels on my MacBook pro for years, and have also gone all out with Linux and a VM to run Windows on my