Google drops “Alt OS” code that hinted at Windows 10 dual booting for the Pixelbook
Pixelbooks are truly amazing pieces of hardware. In fact, when it comes to Chrome OS devices, you’d hardly do better, as the Pixelbook is among the very few Chromebooks competing in the premium laptop ecosystem. Yes, it is powerful, and yes, it is expensive. So what’s the problem with it? Well, the software. Chrome OS isn’t a bad operating system by any means, but when compared to competitors like Windows 10, it is kind of in the lighter side of the spectrum. It’s basically a web-only OS, and while it does integrate the Android framework for running Android apps, it isn’t really the same as actually having access to full-fledged desktop apps. And given the Pixelbook’s hardware and capabilities, it seems, well, limiting.
This was a problem Google was aiming to fix, at least on the Pixelbook, by integrating something called “Alt OS“. This was a feature that was seemingly going to allow users to dual boot Windows 10 and Chrome OS seamlessly, allowing them to switch between one and another depending on their needs. We first got hints about it around August last year, however, the Alt OS project seems to have been scrapped for now, as a recently merged commit indicates that the code for it has been deprecated.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Windows 10 dual booting will not happen in the future, it just means that the specific code for this supposed dual-booting implementation for the Pixelbook has been deprecated. They may have found issues with this specific implementation, or they may have decided that it’s not worth the effort at the moment. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: we didn’t see anything about it during this last I/O, where Google normally shows off their latest and greatest developments and upcoming features.
This doesn’t take away the fact that this news still sucks for those who were looking forward to dual-booting Windows 10 on their Pixelbook. Even though it may still happen eventually, it’s now even farther from becoming a reality. And while Google keeps working upon their OS, sometimes you just need the flexibility and features that desktop apps give you, especially on hardware like the Pixelbook’s.
Source: The Chromium Project