Chrome OS Flex will let old Macs become new Chromebooks

Chrome OS Flex - Chromebook and mac computer

Google has announced early access convert old PCs and Macs “within minutes”.

Google recently announced that early access to Chrome OS Flex has begun, making it possible to replace old PC and Mac operating systems “within” minutes, converting them into what is essentially a regular Chromebook.

The tech giant is encouraging businesses, individuals and schools to download the software.

The Chrome OS Flex download is meant to make it possible for them to “easily try modern computing with cloud-based management” while they can reduce their e-waste and save money by giving older devices a longer lifespan.

The thought is that people, businesses and schools with older computers like Macs that can’t run on macOS 12 Monterey, it is still possible to use a bootable USB stick to install Chrome OS Flex and try the cloud-first operating system from Google to see if it brings new life to the device. The switch for PCs and Macs is free.

Chrome OS Flex - Image of laptop security

The switch to Chrome OS Flex is meant to make older devices secure, fast, and won’t slow down over time.

The operating system automatically updates in the background and can be managed from the cloud. According to Google, the operating system provides old Macs and PCs with the same look and feel of a Chromebook device. The reason is that it’s built on the same code and includes the same browser, Assistant, and Nearby Sharing.

That said, the initial release of the software does not include the Google Play Store. There are a number of other differences between this version and a Chromebook with a native OS, but they are typically system-level limitations.

This new software was developed as a direct result of the Neverware acquisition Google made back in 2020. That company had an app called CloudReady before it was purchased, making it possible for users to be able to convert their old PCs into devices running on Google’s OS.

According to Google, it will be automatically moving all home, school, and enterprise CloudReady users to Chrome OS Flex once that operating system has been deemed stable. Individuals will be able to use it entirely free, though businesses and schools will be charged an initial fee and a subscription rate.

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