If that title has you wondering how this is possible, I’m afraid we won’t be able to fully answer that question yet. As unsatisfying as that is, what Droplet is claiming to be bringing to market soon is no-less exciting.
Their aim is larger than just Chromebooks, but in the sweep of what Droplet looks to accomplish, Chrome OS users will soon have a very powerful way of running Windows applications in Chrome OS in the future.
What Is Droplet?
From their site:
Droplet Computing is a unique container technology which releases PC applications from the Windows Operating System.
Droplet Computing is not like any previous solutions. It does not change the application in any way, does not require Windows emulation, device re-partitioning or virtual machines; in fact, it does not rely on Windows at all.
Most important, it does not require you to be connected to a stable network at all times to access your applications. Now you can use your favourite fully featured Windows applications on any device you choose, anywhere, anytime – whether you have a reliable Internet connection or not.
So, in a nutshell, it sounds amazing! Windows applications without emulation or a Virtual Machine sounds pretty fantastic for closing the shrinking productivity gaps that still exist with Chrome OS. Between this and Android apps, Chromebooks could gain the ability to handle most tasks across the board.
Below, you’ll find 2 quick videos. The first is an overview of Droplet’s service. The second is an actual demo of this all working on a Toshiba Chromebook 2. From the video, it sounds like he is using the version with the Celeron, which was the slowest performer of the bunch. That is good news because things look to be working just fine on the device, so newer Chromebooks will only fare better.
As you can see in the videos, this is looking to roll out on both Chromebooks and Android devices. Droplet wants to serve up offline Windows applications on lots of screens.
When Is This Coming?
We’ve reached out to Droplet for some clarification, but right now there is no timeline available to the public. The two videos above were published in October of last year, so this isn’t brand new.
The waitlist sign up on their site works, but the email I received seemed to indicate only 95 people were ahead of me. If this has been around since Q4 of last year, there’s not a ton of momentum. Likewise, their 2 YouTube videos have very few views.
From the look of the website and the video showing Droplet in action, I don’t think this is vaporware. I think it is real and coming, but without any indication of a timeline, it is really difficult to tell everyone to get excited about this.
However, for what it looks like Droplet is wanting to deliver, I have to admit I’m very excited.
For me personally, this won’t change much. An app here or there could be nice, but my anticipation comes from the idea that I could finally be able to recommend a Chromebook without having to explain how people need to change their computing habits in all ways.
Sure, I prefer Google Docs, web apps, and the Chrome browsing experience. But for those who need Microsoft Office, Photoshop, etc., this could be the piece of the puzzle that gets them over the hump to becoming a Chromebook user.
That part excites me, and I sincerely hope Droplet can deliver. If they can, they might change computing in a legitimately profound way.