On the Chromebook Pixel, the Multiple OS Future Takes Shape
Everywhere you look, there are signs that even users who have been wedded to certain operating systems for years are embracing the multiple OS future. We use the term "multiple OS future" at OStatic to refer to the fact that many of us use several operating systems in tandem--even on single machines. ZDNet refers to the phenomenon as "The Increasingly Irrelevant Desktop OS."
As Chromebooks--systems based on Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS are quickly becoming big forces in the market for portable computers, they are helping to usher in the multiple OS future. In fact, on the high-end new Chromebook Pixel (shown), some users are already running Ubuntu, Chrome OS and Android in tandem.
Liliputing has a complete video-driven tutorial on how to easily enter developer mode on the Chromebook Pixel and start running Ubuntu, Chrome OS and Android together. This kind of thing is the future, people. Why should users limit themselves to the application ecosystems that exist for only one operating system. Maybe on some Windows 8 Secure Boot systems users have no choice in the matter, but on emerging systems users do have choice.
Through virtualization, you can actually run an array of operating systems on one device. This allows access to a much wider universe of applications, and applications are, in the end, what make a difference for users. Any commercial operating system provider who ignores the trend toward virtualization is playing with fire, which is why Google would be wise to simply make installing alternative operating systems alongside Chrome OS as easy as possible.
To be clear, the Liliputing demo of multiple operating systems running on the Pixel shows how to install the operating systems natively. They're not virtualized and don't take performance hits from virtualization. Now, Google just needs to make this process ultra easy.