In an effort to get a bigger slice of the desktop operating system pie, Google has introduced a new Chrome OS-based operating system called Chrome OS Flex, which, according to the Mountain View tech giant, is 'fast', 'easy-to-manage', and 'secure.' The new Chrome OS Flex is designed to 'modernize' your old PCs and Macs you already own.
Built for businesses and schools, Chrome OS Flex is a free-to-download operating system that is fully compatible with Google’s powerful cloud-based management. However, you should not confuse it with Chrome OS as they're not exactly the same.
While Chrome OS Flex has the same code base and release cadence as Chrome OS, one of the key differences between the two is that the former won't be able to access Google Play Store. In other words, Chrome OS Flex computers won't be able to run Android apps.
The Chrome OS Flex is essentially a rejuvenation of the CloudReady, a Chrome OS-based operating system owned by a company called Neverware. Google ended up buying Neverware back in 2020 to bolster its presence in the desktop OS market.
For those looking forward to trying Google's new operating system, Chrome OS Flex is now available in preview. The company has confirmed that it'll release the stable version sometime in the second quarter of 2022. And if you're already using CloudReady, you'll get an option to update to Chrome OS Flex once Google releases the stable version of the OS.
Meanwhile, you can check the minimum hardware requirement below(via 9to5google):
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: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics hardware do not meet Chrome OS Flex performance standards.
Are you going to try Google's new Chrome OS Flex on your old PC or Mac? Let us know in the comments section.