Chromebooks have risen as a credible alternative to Windows laptops because they can outdo them on several fronts. Chromebooks are generally less expensive, offer longer standby times, and are more secure. One area where they lag behind, however, is compatible products and services.
Of course, Chrome OS is a far younger operating system, so it’s to be expected, but this nevertheless means Windows is your only option if you have specific software needs. Thanks to the latest CrossOver beta app, you may now be able to access some of the programs Chrome OS has been missing out on.
CodeWeaver’s CrossOver for Chromebook app lets you run Windows programs on Chromebooks lag-free and in a separate window. It’s based on the Wine software program and currently supports more than 13,000 apps, including likes of Microsoft Office and Steam. Yes, this means you can gain access to compatible games from your Steam library on your Chromebook — check out hor CodeWeavers first showed this off in the video below.
The developers at CodeWeavers first opened up Windows programs to Linux twenty years ago and have since also made it work for MacOS. Chromebook support was introduced as an invite-only preview last year before the CrossOver on Chrome OS beta app was finally launched in Google Play yesterday.
You can get involved by downloading the beta app (on a Chromebook) via the Google Play link below, but note that it’s only compatible with Chromebooks running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later that also use an x86 processor (you’re likely to find other compatibility quirks along the way too).
CrossOver for Chromebook is free for the time being, but you’ll have to pay for the service when it is officially released and we don’t know how much it will cost yet. Prices begin at $59.95 for the software on Mac and Linux, with a year of email support; I expect it to come in at a similar price for the Chromebook version.
To find out more, head over to the CodeWeavers announcement here.