IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Chrome OS Flex turns old PCs and Macs into Chromebooks

The OS is aimed at businesses that want a universal operating system without having to splash out on new hardware

The Chrome logo on a laptop

Google has announced "early access" to a new version of its Chrome operating system that works on older PCs and Macs. 

Chrome OS Flex is designed for businesses and educational institutions that want to deploy a universal operating system without having to splash out on new hardware. 

The new OS can be installed on any PC and Mac within minutes, according to Google, which adds that it should look and feel identical to the traditional Chrome OS one would find on a Chromebook as it's built from the same codebase. However, it notes that some features may be dependent on the age of the hardware, though didn't specify which. 

The technology behind Chrome OS Flex appears to have come from a recent Google acquisition. Neverware, which the tech giant bought at the end of 2020, previously sold the CloudReady service which let users convert old PCs into Chrome OS. Google said that it has been integrating "the benefits of CloudReady into a new version of Chrome OS". 

Google says Chrome OS Flex will allow IT departments to manage all their machines just like any other Chrome OS hardware. All devices can be managed through Google's Admin Console, with IT departments able to deploy specific software installs. 

The operating system also comes with built-in security tools, such as sandboxing technology to eliminate the need for antivirus software and IT controls to prevent data loss on lost or stolen devices. 

How to install Chrome OS Flex

Related Resource

Modernise and thrive with Device-as-a-Service

Improving end-user experience through modernisation

Whitepaper cover with man leant over a laptop on a deskFree Download

To try Chrome OS Flex, users will need to go to the Chrome Enterprise website and register. A USB drive is all they you need and it should only take a few minutes to set up on a PC or Mac device. 

From there, users need to follow three steps: create a bootable Chrome OS Flex USB drive to test it out prior to installation. Form there, users can install the OS and fully replace the existing operating system, and the USB drive can also be also used to deploy the OS to more devices on your organisation's network. 

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Most Popular

Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon
automation

Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon

23 May 2022
Nvidia pauses hiring to help cope with inflation
Careers & training

Nvidia pauses hiring to help cope with inflation

23 May 2022
Open source packages with millions of installs hacked to harvest AWS credentials
hacking

Open source packages with millions of installs hacked to harvest AWS credentials

24 May 2022