a traditional dual-boot might be a possibility, but installing an OS "within" chromeOS can definetly be done: I installed an ubuntu within my samsung's chromeOS using crouton almost as soon as I received it.
It has really become a hidden news story: I've heard that over 80% of Chromebook sales are for education (they are certainly buying a lot of them at my kids' schools.)
It makes a lot of sense. Think of a poor teacher trying to deal with PCs and the non-stop upgrading that needs to take place of the OS and software, and all of the malware that accidentally gets downloaded by kids browsing the Internet who aren't savy enough yet to know which links they shouldn't be clicking on.
Experience with my son's PC tells me that a teenage kid's browsing habits quickly overwelms any anti-virus software or firewall, so the system becomes irredeemably infected and not even the best software can restore it. Only a complete reload of the OS can fix it. I couldn't imagine having to do this to 100s of PCs every few weeks.
Also, they are a lot cheaper, a lot less likely to get stolen, and Google apparently has a lot of education and central management software to help out.
Google seems to be slipping this one past Apple and Microsoft .
The dependency on Internet connectivity is definitely a drawback of chromebook compared to regular laptop or even tablet. Nonetheless, Internet connectivity has become like electricity; we can't live without.
Jessica, I've been using a Chromebook since last October and I'm really happy with it.
This is my home computer now, and I have a regular Windows laptop at the office. It is true that you need to be connected to use most of the features but when I'm traveling I can create a hotspot on my Android phone.
I'm looking at those new Acer Chromebooks and I'm thinking of getting one. My Samsung is only 11.6" and feels a bit small sometimes. But it is great to go to conventions and conferences, doesn't heat up an the battery lasts all day.