Once upon a time Chromebooks were basically laptops designed to run a single app — the Chrome web browser. But over time Google has added support for Android apps and Linux apps, not to mention thousands of web apps.
Soon you’ll also be able to run Windows applications on a Chromebook… assuming you’re a Chrome Enterprise customer.
Google and Parallels have announced a partnership that will allow users to run Windows applications including Microsoft on Chrome Enterprise devices starting this fall.
Parallels has a long history in taking single-platform apps and making them run on a different platform. The company has been offering software that lets you run Windows applications on a Mac since 2006.
While Parallels does offer cloud-based solutions like the company’s “Remote Application Server,” the folks at Android Police are reporting that the new Chrome OS tool will be a native feature that runs locally on a Chromebook without connecting to a remote server. That means you won’t need an internet application to run Microsoft Office or other supported apps.
There’s no word on if or when Parallels and Google will bring Windows app support to non-enterprise customers. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a company offer a solution for running Windows applications on Chromebooks.
Way back in 2016 the folks at CodeWeavers released CrossOver for Android, an application that lets you run some Android apps on a Chromebook as long as you’re using a model with an x86 processor and support for Android applications. But four years later, that software is still considered beta.
Google and Parallels say they’ll provide more details about their partnership in the coming months.