Google Chromebooks are taking a chunk out of the Windows 10 PC market, based largely on their low price and relatively simple administration. The Windows 10 ecosystem is competing with its own low-cost options, but Chromebook has gained some traction in terms of mindshare.
Now, things are getting a little more complicated as Chromebook is getting an injection of apps that could make it an even more competitive platform. Google has enabled the platform to run Android apps, and while they may not be perfectly suited for keyboard and mouse use, they’re functional in many cases. Even more worrying for Microsoft is a recent project by CrossOver, the tool that allows Android devices to run a subset of Windows apps.
The tools isn’t perfect and it’s not yet publicly available, as Liliputing reports, but it’s getting there. Keyboard and mouse support works, DirectX 9 is supported, and sound is functional. CrossOver only works on Intel-based machines, and so while most Android devices run on ARM processors and so won’t support CrossOver, the vast majority of Chromebooks will work just fine.
Not all Windows apps will run on CrossOver, but that’s not really the point. Chromebooks remains a viable competitor to Windows 10, and the more functional they become the more of a problem they could pose. Many Windows OEMs also make Chromebooks, and so they’re all set, but Microsoft is likely taking a hard look at the impact of Chromebooks on Windows 10 sales. The Skype team is supporting the platform, and so at least some Microsoft staff is keeping their eye on Google’s latest.