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Google releases Chrome OS Flex for old PCs and Macs

Google is rolling out Chrome OS Flex, an operating system designed to run seamlessly on over 400 old Windows and macOS devices. The company started testing the Flex earlier this February and has now made it available to businesses and schools.

Chrome OS Flex is essentially Chrome OS — as they share the same underlying tech — minus a few security and management features, VM, app and hardware support.

Chrome OS Flex’s story started with Google’s 2020 acquisition of Neverware, a developer of Cloudready, an app that allowed people to convert old PCs into Chromebooks.

Google releases Chrome OS Flex for old PCs and Macs

With millions of devices getting left behind with incremental updates each year — Windows and Mac — Flex presents a solid opportunity for businesses, schools and individuals to reduce their e-waste and put older hardware to good use.

Since older devices with outdated operating systems are still being used in offices worldwide — especially in government, hospitality and healthcare — Google’s latest OS offering could also help curb the dozens of cybersecurity incidents, including ransomware attacks, since it will receive updates in the background.

The new OS offered by the US-based tech titan is designed to work on several Windows PCs, including those manufactured by Acer, Advantech, Aopen, Apple, Asus, Dell, Elo, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Justice, Lenovo, LF, Microsoft, Minisforum, Panasonic, Toshiba and Zota. Flex will also work on nine Mac devices.

Flex can be installed on old devices and help them boot quickly, securely and stay updated. The OS will also allow the devices to be managed via the cloud.

All that’s needed to install Chrome OS Flex is to create a bootable Flex USB drive and then install it on the Windows or Mac device to replace the existing OS. Since it’s a cloud-first OS, Flex can also be deployed to devices in an organisation via USB or network deployment.

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