If you keep tabs on Chromebooks, you’ll know how finicky it is to get Windows 10 running on one. Chromebooks don’t naturally support Windows – you have to do all kinds of workarounds to get it running. Once it is up and running, driver issues cause difficulties with the hardware.
The main piece of advice for installing Windows on a Chromebook is to get a cheap laptop instead. Chromebooks aren’t the ideal product to get if you want a Windows-based operating system.
Thankfully, Chromebooks are about to get a little more adaptive. Google has made a bit of a surprising turn by announcing that they will support Windows 10 on their Chromebooks. Moreover, this is more than just simply supporting Windows 10; this is allowing a Chromebook to dual-boot between the default OS and Windows, much like bootcamp does in macOS.
What Does this Mean?
Simply put, dual-booting means that a computer has two operating systems installed on it. When the computer boots up, it asks the user which operating system they’d like to use. Should the user want to change their operating system, all they need to do is restart the computer and choose the other option on boot.
This does mean you can get all the joy of two (or more!) operating systems without having to buy multiple machines. You don’t even need two drives to do this; simply designate a chunk of the drive to each operating system and let them share the space. This does mean both operating systems have less storage space to play with, but it does make it very convenient when setting up a dual boot system.
When Chromebook receives dual booting, it’ll be dividing its single SSD into two portions: one for Chrome OS, one for Windows 10. This means Chromebook users don’t have to sacrifice Chrome OS in order to run Windows apps. They also don’t have to use workarounds in order to get Windows apps to run. Simply swap between the two as you see fit and get the best of both worlds.
Can All Chromebooks Dual-Boot Windows?
This feature still hasn’t been officially announced yet, so we don’t know the specific details on the system requirements for dual-booting. What we do know, however, is that it’ll only support the higher-end models of Chromebook, at least to begin with. You’ll need 4GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD space in order to fully support dual-booting. This is unfortunate news for people with lower-end machines, but with an already small SSD being divvied up between two operating systems, it’s easy to see why they made this decision.
What About Other Operating Systems?
You can already install Linux on Chromebook, and with Windows added in the mix, it is only left with macOS. While in theory it’s possible, the actual fact is that it is going to be a difficult task. Apple doesn’t allow macOS to run on hardware other than its own, so it is unlikely Google can get a hand on it. It might be down to the hackintosh community to get it done, but the hardware driver issue could pose the greatest challenge.
Getting Windows onto a Chromebook was such an issue, users were better off buying a dedicated Windows machine. With the announcement of dual-boot support, high-end Chromebook users can get Windows 10 on their machines, thus removing the need to perform workarounds to get Windows-based apps to run on their machine.
Does this new announcement make you more excited for Chromebooks? Let us know below.