If you buy yourself a Chromebook, the general understanding is that you’re renouncing Microsoft Windows and all other operating systems, in order to exclusively enjoy Chrome OS. But code uncovered by XDA-Developers suggests that this may not be the case for long.
The feature is referred to as Campfire in the Chromium Git, which evokes memories of Bootcamp – the software that allowed Windows to be booted on Apple Mac devices.
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It’s supposed to be just as easy to use as well. While dual-booting with Linux requires Chromebook owners to break out developer mode, XDA Developers says this shouldn’t require any kind of bootloader or flashing of firmware.
So in theory, this would allow any Chromebook to run Windows as well as Chrome OS. In practice, however, there is one big limitation: storage space.
10GB of storage on Chromebooks is reserved for the intended operating system, and Windows 10 would require an additional 30GB. Those low-end 16GB-32GB Chromebooks, in other words, need not apply.
That said, those who bought low-end Chromebooks did so with no expectation that they’d ever run Windows. With this new feature likely to be made public soon, we may see manufacturers boasting about their dual-boot functionality in future press materials.
And that really explains why this is such a good move for Google. There are plenty of people and businesses that would be tempted to try a Chromebook if it weren’t for the fear of stepping away from the familiar. Campfire, it appears, would allow buyers to try something new with the safety net of good old Windows 10 if things didn’t work as expected.
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Microsoft, for its part, gets to put its footprint onto hardware that has been eating its lunch – especially in the educational sector. This genuinely feels like everyone’s a winner, assuming the feature does indeed see the light of day.
Would dual-boot support get you to buy a Chromebook? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.