In the build-up to October 9th’s Made by Google event, there’s been just a little bit of hype around the Google Pixel Slate, Google’s first ever Chrome OS tablet. A Chromium commit seems to indicate that Chrome OS may not be the only operating system available for the Google Pixel Slate.
News has been swirling in recent months that Google is working on making select Chromebooks able to dual-boot Windows 10. Thus far the only one confirmed is the Pixelbook, and it may, in fact, be the only currently-available device to get it. That leaves us looking to future devices to include support for the traditional OS.
A commit from July we found seems to indicate that the second Chromebook Windows 10 is being tested on is ‘Nocturne‘, the device in Chromium that we’re fairly confident is the to-be-announced Google Pixel Slate.
The key quote in the code here is “Windows 10 will BSOD early during boot […] with the way things are currently laid out.” An earlier version of this change read “I’ve got an OS that can’t boot with the way things are currently laid out.” Between these two phrasings, it becomes clear that at least one Googler has been working to ensure the device will boot correctly on Windows 10.
This commit does not necessarily mean the Google Pixel Slate will launch with dual-boot capability. It does, however, mean that if and when Windows 10 support is officially announced for certain Chromebooks (this is still more-or-less a secret project), the Google Pixel Slate is likely among them.
Having the ability to install Windows 10 would make the Pixel Slate a far more compelling product for a large subset of potential buyers, and put it more squarely in competition with the Microsoft Surface. Personally, I think the Pixel Slate would have an edge over the Surface, considering Chrome OS has just added Linux app support to its already-blooming Android app experience.
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