Will Google's Chrome OS run Windows apps?

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Google is reportedly adding support for legacy PC apps to its upcoming web-based Chrome operating system.

"With this functionality - 'Chromoting' -  Chrome OS will not only be great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser," Google software engineer Gary Kačmarčík confirmed in a forum post.

Will Google's Chrome OS run Windows apps?"We'll have more details to share on Chromoting in the coming month."

 So, how would a Chrome legacy app interface actually function?

Well, David Murphy of PC Magazine explained that the Chromoting process was likely to be "more akin" to a VPN/sharing feature than anything else. 

"In that case, one would have to leave one's Windows-based desktop or laptop system on in order to access apps via a connected Chrome OS computer — which, itself, is hardly a technological leap given that numerous applications today offer users an analogous screen-sharing/remote access functionality," wrote Murphy.

But...it would be a different solution entirely if Google allowed users to 'map' to applications on a networked system akin to how one can assign a drive letter to a network location in Windows."

Thom Holwerda of OS News expressed similar sentiments.

"Obviously, there's nothing new about this kind of technology, but it's interesting Google is building this into Chrome OS," mused Holwerda.

"I can see how it would be very handy to be able to use your Chrome OS laptop to access applications running on your main desktop. Hopefully, the technology is smart enough to dedicate a browser tab to each application - instead of just bluntly showing you the entire remote desktop."