Neverware is a company that has developed a product called CloudReady that lets users and large organizations turn old Macs and Windows PC into Chrome OS devices. The idea: if you have a dated PC that can’t run on a newer OS, you will still be able to get more life out of it.
And late in 2020, Google bought Neverware, and the former made CloudReady available for its users. Google is turning those old PCs into Chromebooks.
Today, we are getting the first look at the product’s updated version that Google has been busy with the past year or so.
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Google is turning your outdated Mac or Windows PC into a Chromebook
Google announced today that a new operating system named Chrome OS Flex was developed to transform old Macs or Windows PC into Chromebooks. The company has made the cloud-based OS free to use.
Basically, Chrome OS Flex is the office Google version of CloudReady, after the tech company acquired Neverware. The OS lets individuals, businesses, or schools to download the Chrome OS onto a USB drive –– for free. Then, users can then install it onto their old Mac or Windows PC.
Mind you, CloudReady charges you for a fee and annual subscription fee to schools and businesses.
Additionally, Chrome OS Flex could also be booted from a USB drive rather than installed launched via network deployment by a technical person.
Google is positioning its new OS as an answer to old Windows PC and Mac that might not be able to run on the latest version of their native operating system.
Instead of buying new hardware, consumers or IT departments could install the latest version of Chrome OS Flex. That saves them tons of money for a brand new one.
According to Google, Chrome OS Flex will have similar look and feel to Chrome OS on a Chromebook. The two are even built from the same code base and follow the same “release cadence.”
Also read: The Best Chromebooks for Every Budget & Need
But there’s one thing though, some features may be dependent on the hardware of the PC that you are using. Also, Google has also detailed how Chrome OS Flex and CloudReady will differ.
In Chrome OS Flex, Google Assistant, the Chrome browser, and Nearby Sharing will be added. In addition, Google’s new OS will add a Linux development environment for compatible hardware for education and enterprise customers.
Currently, Chrome OS Flex is available as early access in the dev channel. Of course, bugs are expected. The OS has already been tested with “Googlers and other large customers,” says Thomas Riedl, director of product, enterprise, and education at Google.
He added that a stable version of Chrome OS Flex will be launched in the coming months.
Riedl explained that after login, a user’s cloud profile gets downloaded and will automatically sync their settings, bookmark, and whatnot. IT members will be able to use the cloud-based Google Admin console that has over 500 policies and controls, such as security-focused ones, like sandboxing.
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