Chrome OS:
The Ultimate Guide to Chrome OS

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Google developed the Chrome OS from the Linux kernel in an attempt to popularize cloud computing. The OS is primarily a re-imagining of the Google Chrome web browser, serving as a portal for users to access apps and data stored on the cloud.

To use the Chrome OS, you need a device known as a Chromebook—a web client with a mix of thin and thick client features. Unlike your regular laptop, Chromebooks are lightweight and energy-efficient, giving you almost a full day of battery use. Like anything else, the Chrome OS operating system has its fair share of pros and cons.

Pros and cons of Chrome OS

Many of the people who ask, “What is Chrome OS?” also wonder, “Is Chrome OS Android?” An understanding of Chrome OS goes a great way to determine the strengths and weaknesses of this operating system from Google. Here is a rundown of its pros and cons:


  • Fast and lightweight: Requires minimal hardware specifications to run. They don't need high RAM and lots of storage space since they have been optimized for online use.
  • Ease of use: Features a simple and clean interface because it's just a web client. Everything is displayed on the home-screen, and users don't have to dig deeper to access some functions, as Windows and Mac OS do.
  • Integration with Android: Users can increase its functionality by downloading Android apps to their Chromebook. As it stands, Android apps can't work on Windows or Mac OS unless an Android simulator is installed.
  • Affordable: Chromebooks are much cheaper than Windows laptops and MacBooks. This is because Chrome OS needs just minimal hardware specifications to run efficiently.


  • Not suitable for heavy users: If you need to run resource-intensive tasks, such as video editing, Chrome OS would not be of help. You will have to turn to Windows or Mac OS to accomplish such tasks.
  • Poor offline experience: Chrome OS is meant for online use, or cloud computing. As such, it doesn't avail resources needed for offline use. Most Chrome OS devices have very limited storage, and most apps need the internet to run.
  • Not necessary if you have other devices: You won't need a Chromebook if you have other devices, especially Android smartphones or tablets, because they avail the same apps.

Use Parallels to run Windows on Chrome OS

The lightweight and superfast design of Chrome OS, coupled with its high energy-efficiency, may make you opt for it over other operating systems. But you may still wish to access other functionalities present on the Windows platform, but lacking on Chrome OS.

You will need virtualization software to create a virtual Windows machine on your Chromebook. There are lots of virtual desktop software on the market today, some expensive, others cost-friendly, while others come with different features and functionalities.

If you're looking for the best virtualization software that fits your budget and offers all the important features, consider Parallels Desktop. To run Windows on Chrome OS using Parallels:

  • Set up your Parallels admin console by creating the organizational unit for the Chrome OS Parallels users
  • Create a Windows Virtual Machine by downloading the Windows ISO image
  • Install Windows – press Ctrl + Alt + T to open the crosh terminal
  • Install Parallels tools
  • Export the virtual machine as an image file for users to download and use
  • Upload and enable the Windows image. You can now use Windows on your Chrome OS device.


Chrome OS and related devices have been gaining popularity over the years because of their lightweight design, speed, and security. But you can't do away with Windows since Chrome is limited in some features. Virtualization software, such as Parallels Desktop, can help you run Windows on Chrome OS, and have the best of both worlds.