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Microsoft Windows on a Chromebook now possible with Parallels

Yesterday I wrote an article about being able to use certain Microsoft programs on your Chromebook using Crossover. This is now available for the stable Chrome OS version, so everyone can now use this service.

In fear of being left behind, it appears Parallels is now ready to run Microsoft Windows on your Chromebook. Parallels have been working with Google for some time on this project.

It works a little differently to Crossover because it gives you access to the whole Microsoft Operating system. This is done by using a Virtual Machine within Chrome OS. If the idea of using Microsoft Windows on your Chromebook excites you, you may be disappointed because Parallels is currently only available on Chrome OS Enterprise.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL MACHINE

If you’ve never used a Virtual Machine before it’s simply a program, which allows you to run another operating system on top of another. This is widely used in the business sector already for Microsoft Windows, where you need two operating systems running at the same time.

A virtual machine is usually limited when it comes to performance because it uses the processing power from your computer. Generally speaking, Virtual Machines are typically set up to not use all of the processing power the computer has on offer.

You’ll never be in a situation where a Virtual Machine can use all of your computers processing power and RAM. This is because your computer still needs to have enough processing power to run the main operating system in the background.

Parallels running Microsoft Windows on Chrome OS
Parallels running MS Windows on Chrome OS Enterprise

It will be interesting to see how it has been set up, and whether you’ve got options on how much processing power to give to the Virtual machine.

Parallels have been working with Google to ensure Chrome OS still offers a secure environment. This includes the virtual machine being sandboxed from Chrome OS. This will stop any issues surrounding viruses from Microsoft Windows having access to the Chrome OS operating system.

YOU’LL NEED A POWERFUL CHROMEBOOK TO RUN PARALLELS

We will have to wait and see if Parallels is released for the consumer. If it is you’ll have to make sure your Chromebook has some serious processing power.

It’s recommended to have a Chromebook with at least an Intel i5 processor and 16GB of RAM. There are a few Chromebooks available with Intel i5 and i7 processors, but these devices are more expensive.

When it comes to the RAM. There are not many Chromebooks at the moment, which come with 16GB of RAM. We’ll most likely see more of these being launched in the future. However, it’s very unlikely these computers will be anything but expensive.

I can see why Parallel is a good idea for Chrome OS Enterprise. I’m not too convinced at the moment whether it would make sense for the general consumer. Most of the Top Ten Chromebooks in 2020, do not have enough power for Parallels. So we would need to see a major shift in specs before this was accessible for the everyday user.

This raises the question of whether you should just buy a Windows computer if you need access to Microsoft Windows. The only real advantage is the security side of things.

Being able to use Microsoft Windows in a secure environment, where it cannot infect your main operating system is interesting. This may attract some people to use Parallels on their Chromebook.

It’s not cheap though. Considering the cost of the Chromebook you’d need and the current yearly subscription of $69.99/£69.99. It’s not too much for a business that needs it. Not convinced the everyday user will be parting with that amount of cash anytime soon.

Find out more at Parallels

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