THE SINGULARITY is drawing near. No, not that one. The one where Linux and its two big offshoots, Chromium and Android, start behaving a little more like one operating system (OS).
In the case of the Google Pixelbook, that means the arrival of Linux app capabilities in preview from today, with other Chromebooks expected to get a rollout soon, according to VentureBeat.
By the end of this year, you'll be able to run Linux terminal, Git, Sublime, Vim and Android Studio. A dedicated Android Studio for Chrome OS is on the way too.
The whole thing is, claims Google, going to be seamless - simply pick the app you want, regardless of the operating system and it will all run within the Chrome OS environment.
The lynchpin is Google's use of Debian Stretch (aka beta) - that is to say, as long as there is a version of your code that runs on Debian, you'll be fine to code and run in any IDE you like.
There had been some speculation that Google was poised to release an option to dual boot into Windows, in part in response to the concern that the Pixelbook was priced too high for something that can't run the world's most popular consumer operating system.
However, there's been no further word on that, but what we have got represents almost everything else you could possibly want as a programmer - it makes Chrome OS a much stronger coding platform altogether.
Whilst the coding is a big advert, there's also a huge attraction in being able to use Linux to plug some gaps in the Chrome OS/Android canon. The addition of years of full-fledged, desktop designed apps and games certainly makes the prospect of ditching Windows a lot more tempting. µ
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