Chrome OS Flex, Google’s free version of Chrome OS that can be installed on any PC and Mac is going out of beta today. Google is positioning Chrome OS Flex as a lightweight, easy-to-use, and secure operating system for aging hardware that may struggle to run the latest versions of Windows or macOS.
“Chrome OS Flex is just the sunscreen your legacy devices need. And thanks to everyone who has participated in our early access program, we’ve been able to significantly improve the product in many areas while continuously certifying devices to run Chrome OS Flex,” said Thomas Riedl Director of Product, Enterprise and Education.
According to Google, Chrome OS Flex delivers best-in-class security with built-in malware and ransomware protection, seamless background updates, as well as power saving. “Devices that run ChromeOS Flex consume 19% less energy on average than other devices,” Riedl claimed.
Chrome OS Flex is also easy to deploy as you just need a USB drive to install it on a PC or Mac. You can also boot and run Chrome OS Flex right from the USB drive to test it before fully installing it. For IT Admins, Chrome OS Flex devices can also be managed alongside regular Chromebooks in the Google Admin Console.
In our previous hands-on with Chrome OS Flex, we found out that it was an interesting solution for aging devices, though the platform currently has some limitations. Chrome OS Flex does not support Android apps or Google Play, and some hardware capabilities that work on Windows, Mac, and Linux devices may not be officially supported on Chrome OS Flex.
“To make sure Chrome OS Flex is ready to work from the get-go, we test and certify a broad range of models to ensure they provide a consistent and high-quality experience,” explained Riedl. Google has already certified 295 devices, and the company is also keeping a list of devices where minor or major compatibility issues are expected.