Google’s ChromeOS Flex could potentially breathe new life into old Chromebooks by turning them into cloud-based, lightweight machines.
In a recent dive into Google’s Chromium Repositories, tech news site Chrome Unboxed discovered evidence of a “Flexor” project, which suggests that Google may expand the availability of ChromeOS Flex to old Chromebooks. This discovery was made after stumbling upon code that discusses installing a thirteenth partition to ChromeOS. The large file size of 10GB indicates that ChromeOS Flex is a full operating system rather than just a small addition.
ChromeOS Flex is a cloud-based, lightweight version of ChromeOS that can transform old PCs and Macs into Chromebooks. It can run on both desktop computers and laptops and was initially designed for businesses and students to revive outdated hardware. However, anyone can join the program by registering on Google’s website. Instructions for installing the operating system are available online, and the only requirement is a USB drive with enough space to house a bootable version of Flex.
At the time of writing, Google programmers have been working on the Flexor project for about a week. While it is still in the early stages, this development aligns with Google’s renewed interest in device longevity and repairability. The company recently announced that the Pixel 8 will receive seven years of updates post-launch, demonstrating a commitment to supporting their devices. This is in response to criticism from users who accused Google of abandoning many Chromebook models, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks.
If the Flexor project comes to fruition, users may not have to worry about uneven support for their Chromebooks. This development could allow users to purchase inexpensive Chromebooks, install Flex, and have peace of mind knowing their personal information is secure. However, it remains uncertain whether Flex Chromebooks will receive the same 10 years of upgrades promised for other Chromebooks.
Overall, Google’s potential expansion of ChromeOS Flex to old Chromebooks is an exciting development that aligns with the company’s focus on device longevity and repairability. It offers a new lease on life for outdated hardware and provides users with an affordable option for a well-performing machine.