Google today releases the stable version of ChromeOS Flexthe operating system designed to return to exploit old PCs or Macs no longer supported. A service designed for businesses and schools, but which also private users can use to give new life to outdated hardware. I am indeed 400 supported devices and the minimum requirements of ChromeOS Flex are really… minimal.
The news had come earlier this year: Google was about to bring ChromeOS sui Mac eh PC. An interesting novelty because it provided the possibility of reusing old hardware, which has now become too outdated to use Windows 10/11 or the latest version of macOS.
Google’s operating system requires in fact only 4GB of RAM and 16GB of memorywith a CPU a 64bit di Intel o AMD (niente ARM). Specifications with which the most ‘complete’ operating systems such as those from Microsoft and Apple struggle to operate. But having a simpler operating system, all based on the Chrome browser, the Google OS manages to take advantage of lesser powers for most of the basic operations.
In recent months, Google has removed over 600 bugs from its operating system and now it thinks it’s ready to go to the old office and school hardware.
This operating system was created precisely to revive older hardware. Computer Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Toshiba and even Ten-year-old MacBook. Google explains that there are over 400 devices on which you can install ChromeOS Flex via one USB pendrive.
Thomas Riedl from Google explains that: “We are working on further certifications every day. And even if your device is not certified, you can still try ChromeOS Flex ”. Although on non-certified devices you may encounter non-certified hardware or system instability.
This version of the operating system comes after Google’s acquisition of Neverwarea company that sold an application called CloudReady to convert old PCs to systems with ChromeOS. A reality born in response to Microsoft’s restrictions to install Windows 11 on old PCs, which have prevented (or advised against) the upgrade to millions of old computers.
The big point in favor of ChromeOS Flex is that digitization, although necessary in many areas, costs money. For schools or businesses on a tight budget, upgrading hardware always becomes a problem. Installing ChromeOS on old PCs allows you to use these machines again for basic operations: browse the web, reply to emails, use Google applications online.
Individuals and businesses can often remedy this by installing one Linux distribution particularly light on resources. But this requires first of all skills that many end users do not have, and it is not always easy for companies to manage updates. No doubt it can be done: but Google offers a complete and easy-to-use package.
Using ChromeOS Flex, it would become possible for companies and individuals to have a system with an updated (and therefore more secure) browser, taking advantage of the cloud version of applications. Not all companies can do this (some applications necessary for business may not be available in the cloud). But certainly this operating system offers an extra resource for many.
What do you think about it? Will you try to bring an old Mac or PC back to life? Or are you a fan of the lighter Linux distros? Let us know in the comments.
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