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Chrome OS May Support "Legacy" PC Applications

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

Chromoting will enable access to legacy PC applications within the Chrome OS browser.

Previously it was indicated that Google's Chrome OS--the Chrome browser mounted on a customized version of Linux--would not run Microsoft Windows applications. After all, the Google OS would be completely web-driven, and not support the installation of programs within the OS to the hard drive. However, that's apparently about to change with a new feature that's currently in the works.

Called "chromoting," the feature was originally revealed by Google software engineer Gary Kačmarčík in a Google groups Chromium discussion. Unfortunately, he doesn't provide any additional details save for its eventual release, however it's speculated that chromoting will be more in tune with a VPN/sharing functionality than anything similar to Windows-based application installation. This would mean that the actual Windows-based rig would be required to stay on in order to access the programs.

"We're adding new capabilities all the time," he said. "With this functionality (unofficially named "chromoting"), Chrome OS will not only be great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser."

Mark Lunney, a Flash developer for Glue London, didn't seem too keen on the idea, especially if chromoting does actually use a remote desktop application environment to access legacy apps. "I'm struggling to see the usefulness of this," he said. "I'm not going to keep my Windows Laptop running to use programs such as the Adobe suite. My experience with virtual machines also shows that they run quite slowly--fine for cross-browser testing, but not the kind of 3D modeling and video editing software that are the main reasons I don't think I'll be able to switch to Chrome."

Kačmarčík said that the Chromium team would have more details to share on chromoting in the coming month.

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  • 22 Hide
    chris13th , June 14, 2010 10:08 PM
    obiown77But can it ........ install Crysis?

    ಠ_ಠ
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    obiown77 , June 14, 2010 10:00 PM
    But can it ........ install Crysis?
  • 22 Hide
    chris13th , June 14, 2010 10:08 PM
    obiown77But can it ........ install Crysis?

    ಠ_ಠ
  • -2 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , June 14, 2010 10:19 PM
    As long as I can save things to an external withot having a windows machine on.
  • 8 Hide
    TunaSoda , June 14, 2010 10:40 PM
    Yawn
  • 9 Hide
    Abrahm , June 14, 2010 10:44 PM
    "My experience with virtual machines also shows that they run quite slowly--fine for cross-browser testing, but not the kind of 3D modeling and video editing software that are the main reasons I don't think I'll be able to switch to Chrome."

    What? Hasn't Chrome been described and marketed as a cloud based Netbook operating system? This guy really thought he was going to be able to completely switch to chrome and do 3D modeling?
  • -3 Hide
    zmbcat , June 14, 2010 10:45 PM
    whats with the "chrome" everywhere :S
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , June 14, 2010 11:23 PM
    So, are they saying the Windows NT family apps are "legacy".

    They run an OS based on something created in the 1960s, and call apps that run on the dominant operating system "legacy"?
  • 8 Hide
    the_krasno , June 15, 2010 12:20 AM
    So it has the google equivalent of DosBox. I like that, since I play many old school games.
  • 3 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 15, 2010 1:18 AM
    obiown77But can it ........ install Crysis?


    That was horrible but I laughed.

    But seriously. "Chromoting"? Marketing needs to give it a rest and stop attempting to make catchphrases. Do Google employees now get Chromotions?
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , June 15, 2010 2:29 AM
    the_krasnoSo it has the google equivalent of DosBox. I like that, since I play many old school games.

    Where does it say anything like this? They're talking about something more akin to RDP. You'd be better off porting Windows and DOS emulators to Chrome OS.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , June 15, 2010 3:29 AM
    The chrome team should put that as an option - adding option to run legacy apps under chrome is like putting used batteries with a new one but its a good challenge to the team.
  • 0 Hide
    digitalrazoe , June 15, 2010 6:08 AM
    hmmm... maybe Google can help develop Wine for the Linux community ... (Those that DON't know .. (W)ine (I)s (N)ot an (E)mulator.
  • 0 Hide
    ern88 , June 15, 2010 10:01 AM
    Maybe I can install X-wing and Tie-Fighter, My old duke nuke'm...Damn it. I don't have my my 5 1/4" drive anymore. Maybe Google could bundle something up...Call it the Chromo-drive "It plays all legacy games from windows 98 down to Windows 3.1" Now that would be awsome. Hahahaha
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2010 11:08 AM
    Gosh what a waste of energie, ink and resource.
    Like they wil create a new cash cow like cable tv.

    who care about those cazy`s who dream to put us back
    to time-sharing, compuserve and like... remenber the sixty`s
    was in the past not the future.... gosh.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2010 12:53 PM
    Well if it works :

    +1 OS
    -1 000 000 for Vista and Win 7!!!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 15, 2010 1:27 PM
    Legacy apps?
    So not Photoshop, or Nero
    Maybe iTunes?

    Don't hold your breath....
  • 0 Hide
    segio526 , June 15, 2010 3:17 PM
    It would be nice if it included a windows RDP client and be able to run RemoteApp applications from a Windows Terminal Server. I could see that as being extremely useful in my company.
  • 0 Hide
    eatmeimadanish , June 15, 2010 3:53 PM
    Are people seriously complaining that they won't be able to run photoshop or video editing / rendering software in Chrome... on a web based OS meant for cheap devices? I won't be buying a honda civic either, because I tend to haul 3 tons of rocks around for my job, thus Honda Civics are useless. Thats about the sense I got from this article.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 15, 2010 4:22 PM
    eatmeimadanishAre people seriously complaining that they won't be able to run photoshop or video editing / rendering software in Chrome... on a web based OS meant for cheap devices? I won't be buying a honda civic either, because I tend to haul 3 tons of rocks around for my job, thus Honda Civics are useless. Thats about the sense I got from this article.

    If Chrome was meant to be an OS to run a simple standalone device like a smartphone I can understand its light webapps, but as soon as you put it on a laptop/netbook with USB ports or even install on a standard PC people will wanto edit pictures, burn onto CDs or DVDs, listen to their music and attach printers.

    Sure a webapp may be available but people who have paid $685 for CS3 will feel a bit upset that compatability doesnt stretch that far.

    Give the world compatability and you can own the world.
  • 0 Hide
    Dkz , June 15, 2010 6:13 PM
    "I'm struggling to see the usefulness of this," he said. "I'm not going to keep my Windows Laptop running to use programs such as the Adobe suite. My experience with virtual machines also shows that they run quite slowly--fine for cross-browser testing, but not the kind of 3D modeling and video editing software that are the main reasons I don't think I'll be able to switch to Chrome." fail(?) comment(?) Chrome OS is a web app oriented OS! that means internet all the way.. why would you even install adobe suit on a netbook/tablet/smartphone anyway? O.o The legacy apps I would assume that are far more common and simple applications than adobe suit. I guess..
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