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New Software Lets You Run Windows Apps on Chromebooks

Chromebooks have proven to be capable, affordable computers. That is, as long as you're willing to do everything in the cloud. Chrome is right for some, but doesn't have the same software library as its Mac and Windows counterparts. The developers at Codeweavers wants to change that with a new app: Crossover Android. It will let users run Windows apps on Intel-based Chromebooks and Android tablets.

Oh, and it's free.

In a video Codeweavers put on YouTube, you can watch someone running Steam and playing Limbo (of course, with mostly weak processors and no discrete graphics, the chances of running Overwatch, Doom, or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are all pipe dreams on the current slate of Chromebooks). In theory, you should be able to run anything like you would on Windows, including Office, Slack, Photoshop or anything else you'd run on your laptops. In practice, Codeweavers warns that it's still in active developement, and not everything will work as planned.

MORE: Chromebooks vs. Windows 10 Laptops: What Should You Buy?

You can sign up for the Crossover Android preview here.

 If your Chromebook isn't packing an Intel CPU, you're out of luck. However, most of our favorite Chromebooks, including the Toshiba Chromebook 2, Lenovo 100S Chromebook and Acer Chromebook 14 for Work run on Intel chips.

Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.