Installing Windows or another alternative to Chrome OS on a Chromebook could be about to get a whole lot easier -- although it needs be compatible when it comes to the architecture (e.g. x86 or ARM).
In a blog post on Google+, Chromium guru François Beaufort revealed that the Chrome OS team is adding a debugging feature that will allow any Chromebook to boot from a USB key when started up in developer mode.
This means that you'll be able to install another OS by uploading its image to the key. Beaufort didn't specify which ones will be supported, but Windows and Linux would be a safe bet.
While it's not currently impossible to run something else alongside Chrome OS, it's something of a convoluted process that involves terminal commands and other actions that send get non-advanced users into a spin.
A USB key-based plug-and-play approach could go some way to simplifying that process and extend what you can do on Google's (mostly) affordable laptops.