Running Windows on a Pixelbook / by Mike Hudack

I've been using a Pixelbook as my primary computer for the past four months. It's a beautiful machine. Mine has an i7 CPU, 16 gigs of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It's effectively a MacBook Pro but a fraction of the size and weight. It has a touchscreen and easily converts from a laptop to a tablet. It's kind of like a cross between an MBP and an iPad Pro.

It runs Chrome, works well offline, and recently gained the ability to run all Android apps. Recently Google also introduced the ability to run linux in a container.

I now seamlessly switch between web apps, Android apps and a linux shell where I run go and ruby apps without difficulty.

The machine is great. The only reason I use my MBP anymore is to play Starcraft 2. I don't use my iPad Pro anymore. The Chromebook cost about the same as a high spec iPad Pro and about 25% less than an MBP. And it replaces both devices. Well.

The news recently dropped that Google is working on getting Windows hardware certification for the Pixelbook. This is leading people to assume that Google will offer a Boot Camp like dual-boot solution.

I don't think this is what they're doing or what they should do. I think they're going to let you run Windows apps next to Android apps next to Linux apps next to web apps in Chrome. This is the pattern they've used for every other OS. Why change for Windows? Becuase Microsoft forces them to?

I think Microsoft is past the point of using and exploiting the Windows platform in that way... they're not likely to be an impediment. THey want people using Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office, Edge... I think they understand that the Windows platform play is over. It's worth noting that Visual Studio is now available for Windows, Mac and Linux. You don't do that unless you're giving up on your hermetically sealed platform play.

Google is starting a new platform play and can give Windows apps a new lease on life. Google wins because the Pixelbook becomes a neutral carrier of all-but-MacOS apps and they get to sell hardware and get people using Chrome and Google Assistant. Microsoft wins because they get another crack at getting people to use Microsoft Teams. Everyone wins. Except Apple. Which would make everyone but Apple happy.

Give it a few months. I think this is going to happen.