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Chrome OS to soon run everywhere, including on PCs and Macs

Soon youou won’t need a dedicated Chrome OS-powered device, like a Chromebook, to run Google’s desktop operating system.

Google has announced an early access program called Chrome OS Flex that will bring its operating system to existing Windows and Mac hardware, making it easy and simple to not only run Chrome and benefit from security updates, but also to gain access to Android apps.

The back lid of the MacBook Pro.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“Chrome OS Flex is a free and sustainable way to modernize devices you already own,” Google said of its latest initiative, which will be initially available for education and enterprise clients. “It’s easy to deploy across your fleet or simply try it to see what a cloud-first OS has to offer.”

Chrome OS Flex is available to try out for free right now through Google’s Enterprise portal.

Google’s Chrome OS Flex will essentially replace your existing Windows or MacOS installation on your current hardware, so this won’t be a dual-boot solution. However, if you’re unsure if you want to convert your existing work machine over to running Chrome OS Flex, Google also has a method to create a Chrome OS Flex bootable USB drive to test drive the operating system first.

The internet search giant claimed that it just takes a few minutes to install and load Chrome OS Flex onto an existing Windows or Mac desktop or laptop.

For enterprise users, the company boasts about features such as advanced security, granular device controls, scalable management, updates, and reporting and insights reports for IT managers. Chrome OS Flex devices can be managed and controlled alongside Chromebooks by your company’s IT department as an added benefit. And by breathing new life into aging Windows and Mac PCs, Google claims that Chrome OS Flex is a sustainable effort that could potentially lead to reduced e-waste.

Google’s latest efforts to transform existing hardware running on competing operating systems into Chrome OS computers comes on the heels of its acquisition of Neverware, which offered an application that performs a similar task.

For those who aren’t ready to fully dive headfirst into Google’s operating system, using a virtual machine can help you reap the benefits of multiple operating systems without having to commit fully to Chrome OS.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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