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Google might be using the Pixelbook to test the mysterious “AltOS”

There is plenty we do not know about AltOS, such as what it does, whether it is a Pixelbook-exclusive, or when we will see it.

Published onApril 17, 2018

  • New commits pointed to an “AltOS” that Google might be working on for the Pixelbook.
  • Not much else is known about the mode, though speculation points to it being a bridge for Fuchsia OS.
  • AltOS could also allow for native Windows booting.

Even though the Google Pixelbook runs Chrome OS, several commits spotted by a Reddit user seemingly indicate that Google uses its expensive Chromebook to test out something called “AltOS.”

The only problem is that we do not know much beyond that. The commits point to AltOS possibly being a separate mode for the Pixelbook, though they raise more questions than answers.

It could be that AltOS allows you to dual-boot into another operating system, exists as its own operating system, or is somehow related to the possibility of natively booting Windows on the Pixelbook. Other commits did allude to Windows working on the Pixelbook, a possibility that could entice more users to Chrome OS.

AltOS could also be related to the equally enigmatic Fuchsia OS, which Google has reportedly worked on for the past two years. Even though speculation points to Fuchsia OS replacing Android and Chrome OS, it might have been created in anticipation of the Internet of Things.

What is Google Fuchsia? Is this the new Android?
Google Fuchsia logo

This can quickly turn into a trip down a rabbit hole, but that is all we can do until we learn more about AltOS. XDA Developers believes that most of the information regarding the mysterious mode is buried somewhere in the internal Chromium gerrit, which the public cannot see.

We could learn more about AltOS at Google I/O 2018, though we are not holding our collective breath. Either way, we will keep a close eye out for new information as it arises.

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