Steven from Florida writes:

Have been using XP since upgrading from Win2000. I recently got a Chromebook and wanted to ask if that operating system could possibly replace XP?

That depends on what you mean by “replace” XP.  If you’re asking about installing the Chrome Operating System on your XP computer, the answer is no.

Like Apple devices, the Chrome operating system come bundled with the hardware. You’ll have to buy a Chromebook in order to run the operating system.

Now, if what you mean is a Chromebook a viable replacement option for an XP computer, the answer can be yes. It depends on what you need your device to do.

If you absolutely have certain Windows programs that you need to run, the answer is no. But if you are looking to surf the Internet, get e-mails and perform basic office functions and play games, yes it could work fine.

Now you will not be able to run Microsoft Office or Outlook other than going to and using the Office apps.  No Internet Explorer for you, either.

A Chromebook is designed to be an Internet appliance much in the same way an Android tablet or iPad works, except your Chromebook comes in laptop form. If you don’t like the cloud or an always on Internet connection, this is not the device for you. You can use the Chromebook offline for some things, but it really is meant to be connected to the Internet.

You’ll find apps for the Chromebook in the Chrome Web Store. Much like with a tablet, you may be able to find apps that perform most if not all of the tasks you use your XP machine for. But you are limited to downloading your apps from this store.

But there is a price advantage in some cases. You can find a starter Chromebook around the $200 mark, though fancier models may run you almost $2000.

Chromebooks, tablets and even smartphones are viable alternatives to the expense of buying a new PC. Depending on your needs, any of these device could be an adequate replacement for a traditional PC.

Also, the basis of a Chromebook is the Linux operating system. So, if you enjoy the Chromebook interface, you might want to consider replacing XP with Linux either completely or using a dual-boot system with your XP Internet connection disabled.

~ Cynthia