Google’s non-mobile operating system Chrome OS is very popular. The reason behind its popularity is that we are talking about an operating system that is fast, light-weight, secure, easy to use, and easy to deploy in large numbers. However, it’s basically installed on Chromebooks. Also, there have been some hardware requirements that didn’t allow many laptops and PCs to run this system.
Google announced a new version of Chrome OS called Chrome OS Flex. It is specifically designed for businesses and schools to run on older PCs and Macs that may not be able to run its latest version of the preinstalled operating system. According to Google’s blog post, the operating system can be installed “in minutes.”
Chrome OS Flex looks the same as Chrome OS on Chromebooks. It is built from the same codebase, and follows the same “release cadence,” according to Google. However, Google cautions that some features may depend on the hardware of the computer.
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A Google representative said that Google has no current plans to include the Google Play Store and Android apps in Chrome OS Flex because Google is “more focused on the core experience of the OS first.” However, Google will continue to evaluate.
Google recently acquired Neverware, which previously sold an app called CloudReady that allowed users to convert old computers into Chromebooks running Chrome OS.
Google noted that since that acquisition, “we’ve been hard at work integrating the benefits of CloudReady into new versions of Chrome OS.” Google also specified how Chrome OS Flex differs from CloudReady. Chrome OS Flex will add Google Assistant, Chrome, and Nearby Share. Chrome OS Flex also adds a Linux development environment for compatible hardware for educational and enterprise customers.
If you want to try Chrome OS Flex for yourself, you can learn more on the Chrome Enterprise website. Note that the OS is still in early access mode, so there will still be some bugs. The system can boot directly from a USB drive.
According to a blog post published today by Thomas Riedl, director of product, enterprise, and education at Google, Chrome OS Flex has been tested with “Googlers and other big customers.” The blog says a stable version of the operating system will be available “in the next few months.”
“The first 100 versions of Chrome OS were for Google hardware (Chromebooks all have to get Google’s seal of approval). The next one hundred are for Google’s Chromebooks, Windows laptops, and Macbooks, too.“