ChromeOS Flex – Bringing Security & Stability to retired laptops

The simplicity and security which Chromebooks bring has been the driving force for its adoption. The 0-touch upgrades, the fleet-wide Enterprise management and silent security fixes makes it ideal for it to be used by the broader non-technical masses. I myself use it because I know its designed from scratch with security in mind.

ChromeOS Flex takes this to the next level.

Every year, 100s of millions of devices are discarded due to age and performance issues. ChromeOS Flex allows folks to install a flavor of ChromeOS on these devices and bring them back to life.

ChromeOS Flex has the best of all the ChromeOS Features you can find in Chromebooks, but its free to use if you already have an unused laptop lying around.

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Benefits of ChromeOS Flex

  • Free: Out of the gate, note that this is a Free OS and you don’t have to pay anyone to make your device usable again. And you will get free security updates on a regular basis.
  • Fast: ChromeOS is a significantly thinner Operating system which means it will perform faster than most Operating systems the device was running before.
  • Proactive security: ChromeOS Flex provides much needed protection from growing threats, including ransomware, malware, and employee errors.
  • Fast deployment & easy management: ChromeOS Flex can be rapidly deployed via USB or through your company network. With Chrome Enterprise Upgrade, you can manage apps and policies from anywhere, even the beach.
  • Fast, modern work experiences: Devices don’t slow down over time. Background updates reduce device downtime and improve productivity, so you can spend extra time relaxing.
  • Sustainable for your business and planet: Breathe new life into existing hardware to reduce e-waste, energy consumption, and maintain clear blue skies.
  • Enterprise ready: If you are willing to pay for a Chrome Enterprise License, you can also use it to manage the devices remotely just like any other ChromeOS device.

Challenges expected

All operating systems require drivers to work with the hardware. Luckily most OEMs release drivers in some form to allow operating systems like Linux to work on them. ChromeOS Flex use the same drivers to allow it to work with these devices. However, ChromeOS Flex may not have all drivers for all the peripherals on every device. Even if you are lucky to get ChromeOS Flex to run on the hardware, expect some issues with power management, speakers, Bluetooth or even Wifi.

Luckily ChromeOS Flex is brand new, and the team is constantly improving the OS and adding new polished drivers in every single release.

Why this is earth shattering

When devices get old, they are often trashed. Some may be recycled, but its still expensive to recycle and build another one. There are some who are brave enough to setup Linux on these devices, but for most thats too complex.

ChromeOS Flex opens the doors to more devices being reused and hopefully it will help make us more green without sacrificing technical progress.

You can read more about ChromeOS Flex here and here.






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