Image: Google

Google has launched its early access program for Chrome OS Flex, a version of the cloud-based operating system designed specifically for PCs and Macs.

Described by the company as “the upgrade PCs and Macs have been waiting for,” Chrome OS Flex is being marketed as a way of resuscitating older machines and making them fly again with a lightweight operating system, one that’s grown in popularity for features that include fast access to web apps, quick boot-up times, and automatic system updates that happen in the background. Google also pointed out in its list of Chrome OS Flex features that there’s no need for antivirus software, as the OS has built-in protection and regular security updates.

Users who want to give Chrome OS a spin on an older (or even newer) PC or Mac can download a copy of it here. The operating system can be booted directly from a USB drive.

Image: Google

Early access to Chrome OS Flex: The upgrade PCs & Macs have been waiting for (Google Cloud)

Chrome OS Flex is a new, free-to-download operating system from Google. Built for businesses and schools, it’s fully compatible with Google’s powerful cloud-based management. Chrome OS Flex modernizes devices you already own, allowing you to experience the benefits of Chrome OS on PCs and Macs:

  • A fast, modern work experience: Chrome OS Flex provides fast access to web apps and virtualization, all within an intuitive, clutter-free experience for users. Chrome OS Flex boots up in seconds and doesn’t slow down over time. And with system updates that happen in the background, there’s less downtime for users.
  • Proactive security against the latest threats: With Chrome OS Flex, there’s no need for antivirus software. With regular security updates, Chrome OS Flex has built in protection against threats including viruses, ransomware, and phishing. Sandboxing technology keeps threats contained to a specific tab or application, the read-only OS blocks executables where threats often hide, and Google Safe Browsing proactively warns users before navigating to malicious sites. IT can even prevent data loss on lost or stolen devices with remote wipe.
  • Easy deployment and management: Within minutes, IT can install Chrome OS Flex on devices through USB or network deployment. After login, a user’s cloud profile gets downloaded and automatically syncs their settings, bookmarks, and policies. And with the cloud-based Google Admin console, IT has a powerful and simple management experience. Even with 500+ policies and controls, it’s still easy to get started with pre-set policies recommended by Google.
  • A sustainable solution making the most of existing hardware: Use Chrome OS Flex to maximize the life of your existing device fleet. Rather than disposing of aging PCs and Macs, refresh them with a modern and fast operating system to reduce e-waste.

Chrome OS Flex has the same code base and release cadence as Chrome OS which ensures a consistent end user and IT experience. Chrome OS Flex delivers the official Chrome Browser, Google Assistant, and cross-device features in the same user interface as Chrome OS. And with Chrome Enterprise or Education Upgrade, IT can manage Chrome OS Flex devices and Chrome OS devices like Chromebooks side by side in the Google Admin console.

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