Well Chromebook users, it’s now official. This week, VMWare announced that they will be releasing new Windows virtualization software specifically for Chrome OS.
That’s great… right? Well, for a lot of people who need to run Windows programs for work, or just aren’t ready to commit 100% into the Chrome app-only experience, it definitely is.
If you don’t own one of the machines we talk about on this site yet, Chrome OS is the operating system, created by Google, that all Chromebooks run. Visually, it’s very similar to the Chrome web browser for Windows and Mac computers. For the most part (but not all), that operating system is what makes a Chromebook a Chromebook.
VMWare is the developer of the old, well-known Windows virtualization software for Mac OS, VMWare Fusion. Given their experience with creating virtual Windows platforms for Macs for many years, we can expect their Chromebook Windows virtualization software to be of the same high quality.
I’ve used VMWare Fusion in the past on a Mac, and it’s essentially provided a seamless Windows experience for running all types of productivity software, like Microsoft Office (although, there’s a Chrome app for Office anyway, not to mention the successful Google Docs).
Windows 8 devices have been selling relatively poorly for the past year. Chromebooks, however, seem to be more popular than they ever have with consumers. That’s still only a very small fraction of the total notebooks sold in the world (and we mean a small fraction), but hey, these things are still new.
Sales of the Google machines have been growing steadily, at a rate no one expected in 2011. With Windows XP being pulled from the market this April, Chromebook sales are expected to surge even higher than their numbers in 2013 and early 2014.
This is obviously exciting news for anyone who wants a Chromebook but needs to run Windows software, especially if it’s just a few programs for work or play. With Google’s Chromebook prices being generally a few hundred dollars cheaper than most entry-level laptops, this could significantly tilt the laptop computer market even more in favor of Chrome OS machines.
You can see a list of all the current (and past) Chromebook models on our Compare Chromebooks page.