Has your old Windows laptop, or Mac slowed down to frustrating levels? If the answer is Yes, Google has a solution. Meet Chrome OS Flex – a new version of Chrome OS that can be carried around in a USB Drive (pendrive), and run on any computer that runs Windows, or macOS. Chrome OS Flex is completely free to use and brings with itself all the benefits of Chrome OS, including a fully functioning Chrome browser. And if you like it a lot, you can simply install it on your PC as the main operating system instead of Windows or macOS.
Google pitches Chrome OS Flex as a free-to-download operating system for schools and businesses. The OS brings along all of Google could-based services, and even offers popular Google apps built in, such as the Chrome browser and Google Assistant. Enterprises can even use this OS as a cloud-based OS for organisations.
“Chrome OS Flex provides fast access to web apps and virtualization, all within an intuitive, clutter-free experience for users. Chrome OS Flex boots up in seconds and doesn’t slow down over time. And with system updates that happen in the background, there’s less downtime for users,” says Google in its post.
Chrome OS Flex, just like Chrome OS, does require an antivirus software. Google says that the OS keeps getting regular security updates that protect its against viruses, ransomware, and phishing. “Sandboxing technology keeps threats contained to a specific tab or application, the read-only OS blocks executables where threats often hide, and Google Safe Browsing proactively warns users before navigating to malicious sites. IT can even prevent data loss on lost or stolen devices with remote wipe,” adds Google.
From an environment point of view, Chrome OS Flex can also extend life of ageing PCs, thereby reducing e-waste. Hence, your 8-year-old Windows laptop can be revived with this OS, if the hardware is supported and healthy.
In order to run Chrome OS Flex, these are the minimum system requirements.
USB Drive: 8GB or higher capacity
Architecture: Intel or AMD x86-64-bit compatible device
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB
Bootable from USB drive
BIOS: Full administrator access. You’ll need to boot from the Chrome OS Flex USB installer and make some adjustments in the BIOS if you run into issues.
Processor and graphics: Components made before 2010 might result in a poor experience.
Note that Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics hardware do not meet Chrome OS Flex performance standards.