Google has released Chrome OS Flex, a way to turn old Windows and Mac devices into Chromebooks by replacing their operating system.
The Chrome OS Flex presented is based on a distribution of the system’s free open source code that has been available for some time — Cloudready.
Chrome OS Flex is clearly a continuation of the Cloudready idea. In fact, all Cloudready users will be upgraded to a stable version of Chrome OS Flex as soon as it becomes available.
Chrome OS Flex integrates the same graphical interface and basic tools that we already find in Chrome OS — including the Chrome browser. Of course, there is support for the synchronization of settings and bookmarks. In addition, we will have at our disposal Google Assistant and various integrations with Android devices.
One of the most striking features of Chrome OS Flex is that, like the standard version of the operating system, it does not require a high-performance computer to be able to install it. This means that you can run it on old Macs or PCs to give them a second wind.
Minimum requirements for Chrome OS Flex:
- Processor: Intel or AMD x86 64-bit.
- RAM memory: 4GB.
- Storage: 16GB.
- BIOS: full administrator access.
Beware, Google points out that some Chrome OS Flex features, such as support for Google Assistant or synchronization with Android, may not be available on computers that fall short of specifications. This includes those that even meet the minimum requirements.
Another thing to consider is that Chrome OS Flex does not support the Play Store or Android apps. In fact, at least for now, Mountain View has no intention of adding this support.
Above all, it’s free. The update cycles should correspond to those of Chrome OS, and the installation should be simplified by a uniform image and a USB installer.