Aug 30, 2016 11:57 AM EDT By Peter de Jesus

Microsoft News: CrossOver Allows Users to Run Windows Apps on Chromebooks [VIDEO]

CrossOver, an innovative new app that allows Chromebooks to run Windows applications, has just made Google's lightweight productivity devices much more robust.

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Since Google announced the integration of Android apps to Chromebooks, the tech giant's lightweight productivity machines have gotten a lot more useful. Now, an innovative application from Codeweavers, Chromebooks are taking yet another step towards full-fledged functionality.

Windows Apps on a Chromebook

While the compatibility of Android apps has already exponentially improved the capabilities of Google's Chromebooks, the capability of Codeweavers' application, called CrossOver, transforms the tech giant's machines into devices that can run Windows apps.

CrossOver utilizes WINE API transition technology, which, in turn, allows Chromebooks to run Windows programs that are as intricate as Microsoft Office 2010, DirectX9 and even Steam. While not all Windows apps are supported by CrossOver as of date, the sheer premise of playing games from Steam using a Chromebook is enough to spark the interest of ChromeOS fans.

CrossOver Minimum Requirements

CrossOver was initially designed for Android devices. Thus, the requirements for the application are actually not that steep. According to Codeweavers, any device that can access the Google Play Store, is equipped with an Intel chip and 2GB of RAM can run CrossOver without any problem. While the final iteration of the application has not been released as of yet, the beta version apk of CrossOver is already available in the Play Store.

With the requirements, most of the Chromebooks in the market would be able to enjoy the full features of Windows apps. After all, Chromebooks that were recently released come shipped with Intel's chips. Unfortunately, CrossOver is currently incompatible with Chromebooks that are powered by ARM chips. Thus, popular devices like the Asus Chromebook Flip remain unable to access Windows apps.

Chromebooks to Get Better?

When Google released Chromebooks to the market, the initial reception to the devices has been lukewarm at best, with many critics stating that the machine's web-centric approach makes the device inherently flawed. Over the years, however, Chromebooks have gained useful functionalities, with most of its core apps being useful even offline.

With the integration of Android apps, Chromebooks are set to become some of the most useful and well-rounded devices in the market. With Windows apps, the potential of Chromebooks has just gotten even better. 

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