Would you buy a Pixelbook if it could boot into Windows and Chrome OS?

Google Pixelbook running Adobe Lightroom CC
Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

Would being able to boot Windows 10 on your Pixelbook excite you? That is one possibility as newly discovered commits reveal that Google may be working on allowing Chrome OS devices to load a secondary operating system. Given that Google’s Pixelbook already ships with high-end internals that are more than capable of loading Windows, this makes sense and gives the hardware more flexibility depending on the task that you need to accomplish.

“A few weeks back, a new Chrome OS build called eve-campfire popped up. It looks like this is a new branch of Pixelbook (eve) for making it easier to boot into different OSes,” a Reddit user posted about the code commits. “There are other commits regarding AltOS, including this telling one called “Message string for AltOS picker screen”. The options displayed are Chrome OS and AltOS.”

It’s still unclear if booting into Windows is exactly what Google had in mind for the AltOS picker. “It could be that AltOS allows you to dual-boot into another operating system, exists as its own operating system, or is somehow related to the possibility of natively booting Windows on the Pixelbook,” Android Authority reported. “Other commits did allude to Windows working on the Pixelbook, a possibility that could entice more users to Chrome OS.”

Apple, for its part, allows users of its MacBook, iMac, and Mac Pro to dual-boot into Windows, giving them the flexibility to run Mac OS daily and use Windows when the need occurs. A similar implementation could allow Chrome OS users the flexibility to use Windows 10 to test code, for example, if the Pixelbook is being used in a development environment.

Still, another use for AltOS could be to allow developers and users to test Google’s new — and unreleased — Fuchsia operating system. A wider deployment of AltOS could even allow Google to recruit consumers to beta test Fuchsia without worrying about reliability or requiring users to abandon Chrome OS support on existing hardware.

We don’t know too much about Fuchsia OS at this time, but there is speculation that this new operating system could replace Android in the future. There will be two implementations of Fuchsia — one for phones called Armadillo and another for the desktop called Capybara. An early version of Fuchsia was even spotted working on a Pixelbook, leading many to believe that it could even replace Chrome OS.

Given that Fuchsia’s already found a home in testing on the Pixelbook, allowing Chrome OS developers, and potentially general consumers in the future, to dual-boot Fuchsia onto their current hardware for testing makes sense.

At this time, this is still all conjecture, and likely most of the secrets behind AltOS is buried deep inside the Chromium gerrit that isn’t accessible to the public, according to XDA Developers. Google may drop hints at the Google I/O developer conference this year.


Why limit yourself to one OS? Try one of these great virtual machine apps

Buying a new computer just because you want to utilize another operating system isn't necessary. Just use the best virtual machine applications to emulate one OS inside another, no matter what your platform or budget is.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or OS.

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.

Speed up your system by tweaking the startup application in Windows and MacOS

Bothered by programs that automatically start when you boot your computer, or want to add a new one to the list? Here's how to change your startup programs in Windows 7, 8, and 10, along with Apple's MacOS.

Is Ice Lake coming soon? Here's what we know about Intel's future chip design

Intel's Ice Lake may end up launching before the architecture it was supposed to replace. With hints of more announcements about the chip design in the very near future, here's everything you need to know about Ice Lake.

Apple is reportedly set to showcase a new Mac Pro at WWDC 2019 in June

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the news, leaks, and rumors about Apple's new machine, set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what we're likely to see with the new Mac Pro.

Potentially malicious WinRAR vulnerability patched after almost 20 years

WinRAR, a piece of Windows software for managing archival formats, has been harboring a vulnerability for nearly two decades, potentially allowing malicious software to insert items into a computer's startup folder without user permission.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

Prone to web surfing? Google Chrome’s new Focus Mode fights internet distractions

Finding yourself distracted by the web when you need to get work done? A new flag in Google Chrome could hint at a new Focus Mode. The feature may allow computer users to block distracting websites or notifications.

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.