Google may soon let you run Windows 10 on Chromebooks using 'Campfire'

Google was discovered to be getting Windows 10 certification for its Pixelbook earlier this year, and thanks to the folks at XDA Developers, we now have more details on Google's vision for bringing Windows 10 to not just the Pixelbook, but other Chromebooks as well through a new service called "Campfire."

Similar to Apple's Boot Camp, Campfire will allow users to have two operating systems installed on a Chromebook at once so they can boot into whichever OS they'd like at any given time.

Users won't be required to enable Developer Mode on their Chromebook in order to use Campfire, and according to XDA, getting things set up with Campfire should be pretty simple.

Now, with Campfire, Google will push signed updates to RW_LEGACY via the regular auto-update process, so firmware flashing won't be a concern for Joe Public. A recent commit for enabling Alt OS through crosh with a simple [alt_os enable] command indicates that it will be a fairly easy setup process from the user's end too.

As for what devices will be able to use Campfire, more details are trickling in here, too.

40GB appears to be the minimum storage requirement for Campfire (30GB going to Windows 10 and 10GB being used for Chrome OS), and while we don't know which Chromebooks specifically will be supported, talk of "campfire variants" suggests that it'll be supported on more than just the Pixelbook.

It's still unclear when Google will officially unveil Campfire, but with the Pixel 3 event likely coming up in early October, it's possible we'll learn more then. Stay tuned!

Joe Maring
  • Still wouldn't trust it, google's entire modus operandi is to harvest data from their users using any means necessary. They even want people's dna 😶... so does Amazon.
  • Totally agreed...
  • Agreed, they will probably install some bloat on it or make booting to Chrome os a more striking choice or such. Or it could be even simpler that since Chrome os has less hardware requirements and so is mostly put on cheap laptops it makes windows run relatively crap. (which puts it into bad perspective compared to chrome os)
    Or perhaps they want to convince non-US schools in buying their spyware devices?
  • This is a great thing. I love the idea that Google and MS are working together on some things. This will please a lot of people. Especially, at the price points and specs of the Pixel books. I always thought that was much too device and price too high for it to run just Chrome. I wonder if MS is going to be able to run this program or something simular on the Surface Go. For people to be able to dual boot with Chrome OS on such a well built mobile device would be an added benefit for many.
  • So, that is good for Microsoft, no?
  • And for Pixelbook users that like the hardware but want Windows and all the apps it offers.
  • I think it will be good. It will get W10 on more devices. It may also open up more doors to a peaceful relationship between the two companies (hopefully for the sake of consumers).
  • There is probably a catch though, google and microsoft are big competitors (software etc) so they will only do this things if it will benefit themselves and not necessarily us consumers.
  • Then think of it this way; Microsoft is happy to gain territory by any means, and Google is happy to gain territory on Apple grounds with the help of Microsoft.
  • Nah its, Chromebook into campfire for me :P
  • I assume this only applies to x86 Chromebooks and not ARM ones.
  • Correct since WoA is not available to the public.
  • Campfire is not either. But if one needs the other, things may happen.
  • Just like Macs, Chromebooks are DOA in the enterprise without Windows. While more companies are transitioning to the web, the overwhelming majority of specialized business apps run exclusely on Windows. Outside of the US education market Chromebooks have been a complete failure. It would be interesting to find out how much money Google has burned developing & advertising Chromebooks over the past 9 years to obtain <1% global PC market share.
  • You make some good points.
  • Do we really care about Enterprise? The computer you have to use at work isn't exciting at all. Also, for Windows hardware, that market is going to keep getting smaller since hardware lasts so long now. I bet that is why Microsoft is going to a "Windows as a Service".
  • Consumers may not care about the enterprise... but Google clearly does otherwise they would not be trying to do this... and I'm pretty sure Microsoft cares about the mountain of revenue generated by those perpetual Windows Enterprise volume licenses.
  • Yes billions of us care about Enterprises.
  • Well, yes. Enterprise, professionals, and tertiary education is basically why commercially chromebooks are expensive toys. Even in the education market they are teaching useless skills no one actually uses. If the purpose of a chromebook, was like an ipad - just something to watch Netflix on, it might be understandable. But that's not really how laptops work. Even as entertainment devices they are supposed to be able to do more.
  • finally they're going to run a serious os
  • Finally a way to make a chromebook useful.
  • I read somewhere else that it could also be to attract more developers to buy ChromeOS devices since they can use 1 device to create apps for chrome os, android and windows. While it sounds handy, it does give Google even more power which I think can lead to even more (almost) monopolies for Google.
  • Yup cnrombooks are now dead.
  • Still won't make me buy a Chromebook but at least it gives owners of them options and I'm all for that.
  • They want windows users data and more control. Google cant win never
  • I really don't see what's in it for Microsoft. Chromebooks are a tiny proportion of the global market, windows is huge globally.