Chrome OS gets Windows app support

June 14, 2010 | 10:13

Tags: #android #chrome-os #chromium #netbook #remote-desktop #smartbook

Companies: #google

Google's Chrome OS - designed as the cloud-oriented netbook brother to the company's Android mobile platform - is set to get support for running 'legacy' Windows applications - sort of.

According to an article over on, Chrome OS will get support for running certain Windows applications through a kind of remote desktop process which the company is unofficially calling 'chromoting.'

Brief details regarding the as-yet unconfirmed feature were posted to the Chromium-Discuss mailing list by Google's Gary Kačmarčík, who has been working on the Chrome OS project at the company. In the post, Kačmarčík describes "new capabilities" in the OS which "will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser."

Sadly for anyone hoping to see a demo of the procedure in action, Kačmarčík has stated that the company isn't looking to release any firm details regarding the feature until "the coming month."

So far speculation has offered two possibilities for how 'chromoting' might work, with one more likely than the other. The most likely explanation is that the feature offers a simple web-based remote desktop client, allowing users to log in to their home PC and access installed applications - requiring the user to leave their PC switched on and connected to the Internet at all times. The more impressive, and significantly less likely, option is that Google would provide a virtual host which can run Windows applications on their cloud computing platform, accessible from within Chrome OS - but that would likely be a licensing nightmare.

However 'chromoting' works, it's another string to the Chrome OS bow - and another tickbox in the 'pro' list for OEMs looking to make smartbooks and netbooks that differentiate themselves from the Wintel masses.

Do you think that Chrome OS's 'chromoting' feature could spell success, or do you think that anyone who has a need to run Windows applications on their netbooks will just buy one that runs Windows in the first place? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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