Google has shaped Chrome OS to be almost the end of everything and to be all operating systems. It is practically a glorified Web browser, where applications based on Web technologies can feel at home and now also support “foreign” applications from Android and Linux. His recent partnership announced with Parallels to bring Windows software to Chrome OS seems like a partial admission of defeat as it cannot really provide everything its users need. Google recognizes this in a fun way, but it also tries to minimize it by comparing its archaic technology.
Why would you want to play a VHS tape when you have a high-tech, high-tech Dolby Atmos home entertainment system? Because sooner or later, you’ll find an old video recorded and stored on an old technology that you want or need to watch. At the same time, however, this does not mean that you want to stay on VHS tapes for the rest of your life.
This is practically the image that Chrome OS group product manager Cyrus Mistry describes when moving Google to officially support running Windows apps, even Windows itself, on Chromebooks. It compares it to an escape valve from the safe environment of Chrome OS, but only when you really need it. In other words, it also describes Chrome OS as everything for everyone, from office workers to IT administrators, now with Windows support for files that can only be opened by Windows applications.
Initially, Windows support will consist of running the entire Windows operating system on Chrome OS, with some special tricks for opening Windows file types directly in Parallels. Eventually, it will evolve to use the latter’s Coherence feature, which means that users will only need to run the specific Windows applications needed, as if they were native Chrome OS applications. Apparently, Google also studied Chrome OS and Windows with dual boot, but dismissed that idea because of security issues that this could cause.
There is still no timeline for launching Windows support on Chrome OS, but Mistry suggests that you will need a robust Chromebook for this. Googler also seems to emphasize that despite this concession, Google still believes that the Web is winning and that no one is really dusting off old Microsoft programming languages that are not currently on the Web.