Announced Chrome OS Flex for PC and Mac Users, Brings Chromebook Features to All Computers

Deepak Gupta February 16, 2022
Updated 2022/02/16 at 6:55 AM

Google has introduced a new version of Chrome OS for older PC and Mac users called Chrome OS Flex. The new version is built from the same codebase as Chrome OS and will be released alongside software available for Chromebooks and other Chrome OS machines. The new operating systems will allow users to use some of the features of Chrome OS, including background updates, sandboxing, web apps, and Android phone notification syncing. Users will be able to download an early access version of Chrome OS Flex to their computers or run it from a live USB, according to the company.

On a blog post, Google has detailed the new Chrome OS Flex operating system, free to download, designed for businesses and schools. Like Chrome OS, the new operating system offers access to web apps and virtualization, boots quickly and offers system updates in the background, according to Google. Chrome OS Flex will also offer proactive security with sandboxing and protection against viruses, ransomware and phishing. The company says Chrome OS Flex can be quickly deployed via USB sticks or network deployment, and a user’s cloud profile, settings, bookmarks and policies will be synced upon login.

As part of Chrome OS Flex, users will have access to the official Chrome browser, Google Assistant, and will be able to take advantage of cross-platform features with Android devices, such as syncing notifications. IT admins will also be able to manage Chrome OS Flex devices alongside regular Chrome OS devices, according to Google. However, unlike Chromebook, Chromebox, and Chromebase devices, it appears that Chrome OS Flex users will not have access to the Google Play Store.

This isn’t the first time Google’s cloud-centric operating system has been available for download for non-Chromebook users. CloudReady, an operating system built on the open source Chromium OS, was previously developed by Neverware and used by schools and businesses. Google acquired Neverware in 2020, which helped create Chrome OS Flex for PC and Mac owners. Google touted the advantages Chrome OS offers for older hardware, including fast boot times, updates, proactive protection, easy and says they don’t decrease over time.

Google says users can try an early access version of Chrome OS Flex right away, as long as they have a compatible PC or Mac computer and an empty USB drive. Users will have to fill out a form before downloading the new operating system and verify that their devices are included in the certified models List.

  1. Visit the Chrome Web Store on Windows, macOS or Chrome OS.
  2. look for the Chromebook Recovery Utility and download the extension.
  3. Launch the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension and click Start.
  4. now choose from Select a model from a list, select a manufactureror select a product.
  5. click in Continueand insert your USB drive when prompted.
  6. Select your USB drive from the menu, click Continue and then click create now.

Users can boot an active version of Chrome OS Flex without any risk to their existing system from the USB drive. They can also choose to install the OS permanently on their PC or Mac computer. However, Google says the OS is in early access and users may experience some instability. A stable version of Chrome OS Flex will be available in the coming months, and CloudReady customers will be able to upgrade to Chrome OS for free, according to Google.

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