NEWS

Google wants to make Chrome OS available for your PC or Mac.

By Hemaja Burud 16.02.2022

Google announced Chrome OS Flex today, an early preview of a new initiative aimed at bringing Chrome OS to virtually any PC (and older Intel-based Macs).

Built on top of CloudReady, which Google acquired in 2020, Chrome OS Flex is aimed at enterprises and educational users who want to extend the life of their existing devices

The goal is to bring the full Chrome OS experience to almost any computer.

Chrome OS and Chrome OS Flex share the same code base and will have the same release schedule.

Google, on the other hand, is emphatic that this is still a very early release, and users should not expect everything to work flawlessly right away.

According to a Google spokesperson, the team is currently focused on making the core user experience as solid as possible, but there are no plans to add Google Play Store and Android Apps support to Chrome OS Flex.

There is also an enterprise component here because it is based on the work of CloudReady.

All of the standard IT management capabilities that apply to Chrome OS apply to Chrome OS Flex as well.

Enterprises can use their Chrome OS licences on Chrome OS Flex devices as well (while previously, CloudReady had a different licence structure).

Forrest Smith, former director of product at CloudReady maker Neverware and now product manager for CloudReady at Google, told me that around 2016, enterprises began to realise the value of using its service to extend the life of their devices.

So, even though these Chrome OS Flex devices previously ran Windows — or Mac — they now appear in the admin console, which means a single pane of glass where you can manage all of these devices, whether they are Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, or Flex devices.