Hot on the heels of its competitor CrossOver, Parallels has announced that its Windows virtualization service is now available on Chrome OS for Enterprise, allowing businesses to run a full Windows emulation right on their Chromebooks. This follows months and years of preparation work, with initial teasers landing in June and August.
Chromebooks were initially designed to be lightweight web-browsing laptops but gradually started gaining more features, especially when it came to offline computing. However, unlike macOS or Linux, Chrome OS doesn't have the ability to locally run Windows apps, which can sometimes be essential, especially when it comes to corporate apps. Back in June, Parallels and Google announced a partnership stating Chromebooks would soon be able to run Windows apps "seamlessly." The promise is now closer to reality, with the Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise set to be released this fall.
Even though Chrome OS is based on Linux (Gentoo Linux, to be exact), you can't run traditional desktop Linux applications. One solution to this problem is Crouton, a script that sets up a chroot of Ubuntu or Debian Linux on top of Chrome OS. While this does allow many people to use Chrome OS who otherwise couldn't, it's a hacky solution and requires enabling Developer Mode (which turns off most of Chrome OS' security features).
Jide's Remix OS has turned a lot of heads in the last couple of years, thanks to an interesting initial tablet offering and subsequent easy-to-install software for both PCs and a few Nexus tablets and even some retail hardware. The modified Android software, which uses a desktop-style window system for apps, is surprisingly robust and easy to use. Jide's latest move is to offer Remix as a virtual machine package, allowing Windows desktops, laptops, and tablets to run the Android ROM in a dedicated window alongside desktop applications.
Windows Phone, eat your heart out. Android is now capable of virtualizing a full and up-to-date Windows desktop operating system. Well, one phone is at least, and it's probably not one you would have guessed: the ASUS ZenFone 2. XDA-Developers forum member ycavan managed to get Windows 7 running on his phone using a variety of custom tools, some impressive technical skill, and quite a lot of patience. Check it out in the video below:
To be clear, this is Windows 7, virtualized, running on a local virtual machine client accessed via the aSPICE KVM client for control. Windows is not being emulated (it's been done with older versions).
If you're not an IT manager or an employee of a company with a sizeable tech infrastructure, feel free to skip this post. But if either of those descriptions fit you, you may be interested in Amazon's latest foray into B2B services. Amazon WorkSpaces is a remote, virtualized desktop - basically your own personal Windows machine that lives in the cloud - and it's got an Android client just one day after the service was launched.
From an end user perspective, WorkSpaces is very similar to all the other remote desktop apps out there, except that you're not logging into a physical machine.
A few days ago, I posted about a student project at a Russian University that aims to run two or more instances of Android at the same time on a single device. It's a technology called virtualization, and we already use it on web servers and developer machines everywhere.
At first glance, the idea sounds interesting, but seems to lack practical uses for the majority of people. Sure, some developers will save a few hours on testing, and industrious users might want to run the latest CyanogenMod nightly ROM alongside their daily driver, but this kind of stuff doesn't really appeal to your neighbors or parents.
Go ahead and file this one in the Super Cool Tech category. A Russian blog, Rozetked.ru, posted video of a Galaxy S2 running two copies of Android at the same time. The three-and-a-half minute video takes us through a demo switching between a pair of ROMs while playing music from both, proving that the hardware resources can be shared. After the audio segment, we are shown decently high frame rates on a 3D benchmarking app and Angry Birds. According to the team behind the project, running two concurrent instances of Android only takes about 10% off of battery life while the impact on system speed is negligible.
This morning we told you about RIM's plan to bring Blackberry Enterprise Solution to Android and iOS, with a brief mention of Android apps running on the Playbook. No sooner than we posted the aforementioned article did we find out that RIM had demonstrated just that at Blackberry World Conference. Take a look at the video:
Each Android app will run in its own virtual machine, but will seamlessly integrate into the Blackberry ecosystem. The Playbook doesn't have access to the Android Market, either - all compatible Android Apps will be available through the Blackberry App World. This does mean a bit more headache for developers, though, as they will now have to submit their apps not only to Google for the Android Market, but also to RIM to be accepted into App World.
Some combinations are as natural as peanut butter and jelly - Avatar & 3D, Apple & dictatorship, and Conan O'Brien & late-night comedy, to name a few. But are Android apps and the BlackBerry PlayBook also such a sweet match? If you ask RIM, the answer is a firm, definitive "yes."
The BlackBerry maker just confirmed the age-old rumors - it's announced that the upcoming QNX-based PlayBook tablet will support Android apps. There are, however, certain limitations - while the process doesn't sound overly complicated, developers of existing Android apps will need to put some work in to porting their software over, namely "repackaging, code signing, and submitting" it to the BlackBerry App World.