Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS Flex is a huge threat for Windows 11, thanks to the affordability, ease of use, extreme security, and the rising popularity of Chromebooks. Windows 11 is no doubt a good operating system but can be an overkill for many home and education users, also with the number of security risks especially with the amount of malware designed for it.
Chromebooks are turning out to be the popular choice these days with many companies exclusively using web-based solutions in the browser, which makes Windows unnecessary for them.
Even if a company wants to switch from Windows laptops to Chromebooks the major hurdle comes with the existing computers. Since we cannot simply install Chrome OS on the computers that were not shipped with Chrome OS.
This will not be a problem anymore, Google acquired Neverware, a company that developed and maintained the Chromium OS-based CloudReady operating system. The same technology will be used by Google to offer you an all-new operating system called “Chrome OS Flex.”
Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS Flex
Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS Flex is different from the regular Chrome OS as it can be installed on old Windows and Mac machines. This enables you to transform your existing laptops or desktops into Chromebooks or Chromeboxes. This not only saves you money but also helps the environment by keeping some of the old hardware out of the landfills.
Thomas Riedl, Google’s Director of Product for Enterprise and Education said, “Chrome OS Flex has the same code base and releases cadence as Chrome OS which ensures a consistent end-user and IT experience. Chrome OS Flex delivers the official Chrome Browser, Google Assistant, and cross-device features in the same user interface as Chrome OS. And with Chrome Enterprise for Education Upgrade, IT can manage Chrome OS Flex devices and Chrome OS devices like Chromebooks side by side in the Google Admin console.”
According to Riedi, the Chrome OS Flex is relatively new and available on the dev channel. They are continuously improving it but you should expect some bugs. Chrome OS Flex’s stable version will be available for users in the coming months. CloudReady customers will be upgraded to Chrome OS Flex for free.
Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS Flex is interesting as you can run the operating system even from a USB flash drive. You can use this method to try before replacing your Windows or macOS on your existing hardware.
You still need to understand it will not offer you an identical experience to a Chromebook. Currently, Chrome OS Flex does not have access to the Google Play Store and cannot run Android apps. We may get to see these features in the near future.