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Google’s Chrome OS Flex for older PCs and Macs is no longer in beta

Google today announced that Chrome OS Flex, its operating system for older PCs and Macs that can be loaded onto a USB flash drive, is no longer in beta with support for more than 400 devices.

The company first announced the preview of Chrome OS Flex in February, with support for over 250 devices. Now it releases a stable version of the OS that users can use on their older machines.

Google said that in addition to increasing durability by giving old machines new life, the operating system protects users against ransomware and malware threats, and updates in the background so that users don’t have to deal with downtime. Notably, Chrome OS Flex is on the same release cycle as Chrome OS, so it receives all updates on the fly.

“By installing ChromeOS Flex on your existing hardware, you’re not only getting a great experience, but you’re also helping an important cause. Worldwide, 40 million tons of e-waste is generated every year – that’s like throwing away 800 computers laptops per second. Upgrading devices to ChromeOS Flex rather than completely replacing them is an effective way to reduce waste and prevent this growing problem. And if you really need the fans running to stay cool, you can feel better knowing that devices running ChromeOS Flex use an average of 19% less power than other devices,” the company said in a statement. blog post.

Chrome OS Flex was available for end users to try out in the developer channel if they wanted to put in the effort to load the operating system on a USB key and determine the boot sequence by going to the BIOS menu at system startup. We asked Google if individual users can install the operating system on their old PCs and Macs and use it for free.

As we noted in our story in February, this lightweight operating system is built on CloudReady by Neverware, a company acquired by Google in 2020. Thus, the company offers business customers an enterprise upgrade to use Chrome OS Flex on their devices used for work in the organization.

In its blog post, Google said that during the preview period it had Nordic Choice Hotels, a hotel company with more than 200 locations, as a customer, which rolled out the operating system to 2,000 devices within 48 hours.

Google offers you to try Chrome OS Flex for 30 days on 50 devices, before having to buy the licenses. We asked Google for the price of the upgrade.