Google’s ChromeOS Flex — a lightweight, cloud-based operating system designed to run on old Macs and PC Windows systems — just went mainstream today, and it primarily caters education and enterprise customers.
From their early access in February to now, Google have certified over 400 devices from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Toshiba, and other OEMs to be compatible with Flex, even some 10-year old MacBooks are included in the list.
The most significant take on this is Google’s vision for sustainability, reducing e-waste and energy consumption, and it’s FREE for goodness’ sake.
“Worldwide, 40 million tons of e-waste is generated every year – that’s like throwing away 800 laptops per second. Upgrading devices to ChromeOS Flex rather than replacing them altogether is an impactful way to reduce waste and prevent this growing problem,” Google said in their blog post.
Google cited that “Flex consume 19% less energy on average than other devices.”
Businesses and schools won’t have to dump their existing hardware, instead they can adopt ChromeOS Flex and make these old devices more functional than ever.
Note that these are not limited to enterprise and education customers, the general user may also find this useful, and even though certain devices are not certified yet, users may try Flex by only using a USB drive.
Considering that Windows 11 had very strict requirements for upgrade — leaving a myriad of PCs (even those with very capable hardware) in the dust — ChromeOS Flex is ready to save them from being dumped to oblivion.
The only caveat is some programs and applications accustomed to Windows- and Mac-based systems are surely absent on the Flex.
You may install the ChromeOS Flex on your old hardware through their website here.