Any sliver of hope Chromebook owners had for being able to dual-boot into Chrome OS and Windows has, well, flown out the window. The initiative behind this feature, dubbed "Alt OS" in the Chromium Gerrit, has been deprecated according to a recent commit.
Given that Alt OS — or "Project Campfire," as it was internally known at Google — was never public, it's just as expected that it would disappear unceremoniously. About Chromebooks editor Kevin Tofel says there's been no real progress tracked since December and, even at that point, the only notable developments were a couple of UI elements for the OS switching menu.
The biggest problem with the project was just that: it was big. Only a handful of powerful Chromebooks like the Pixelbook or Pixel Slate would even be able to handle the space and processing requirements for a full version of Windows. At a certain price point, consumers might be better off buying a dedicated Windows machine instead of a Frankenstein that might or might not do the job.
On the other hand, Google has spotlighted Crostini — its effort to bring Linux apps officially onto Chrome OS — for two I/O conferences in a row. As Chrome OS is already based on Linux, this isn't exactly the cross-platform jump that Alt OS observers were hoping for, but Crostini and other Android apps might be the way forward to bolstering Chromebooks' overall utility.
- Chromium Gerrit
- About Chromebooks