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ChromeOS: Breathing new life to old, crusty PCs

by Joyce Remo

CHROMEOS Flex powered by Google services is the new solution for slow, laggy, and old laptops and computers as it turns them into stable, safe, and hassle-free devices for work, school, and personal use.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, laptops and personal computers have become a necessity as business and academic institutions shifted from in-person to virtual operations.

While some companies were generous enough to provide devices to remote employees for business continuity purposes, many workers have been forced to endure faulty and lagging laptops. This compromised their performance and outputs for school and work.

Laptops and computers are undoubtedly expensive and not everyone can afford to invest in this work-from-home and online class staple.

Fortunately, Google enterprise was able to develop a free operating system, the recently released ChromeOS Flex, that breathes new life to old laptops. 

This free OS from Google aims to revive old devices and give them a new chance on “life.” It can be installed easily on almost any pre-existing hardware, free of charge. It can run in both Windows and Mac operating systems with only a flash drive as an installation requirement.

By setting up Chrome OS Flex on old devices, they can experience rebirth as Chromebooks and would run as speedy as they can, with apps opening swiftly and lags and crashes would be minimized, according Mike Wendling, one of ChromeOS’ developers.

“When companies put ChromeOS flex on devices, they see that they have a responsive and performance system that is snappy and fast, and that it wasn’t the hardware. So I think that’s the light bulb that goes off for people that this hardware actually can still be used and this plays into our sustainability story that the hardware is still capable,” said Wendling in a Digital Trends article.

This new operating system also helps companies to save money as they no longer have to throw away and buy new hardware for their operations. Meanwhile, Google guarantees that ChromeOS flex provides environmental benefits as it reduces e-waste and energy consumption.

In 2017, Global E-Waste Monitor reported that there is an estimated 40 million tons of e-waste acquired yearly, with less than 30 percent of this being recycled. That is as much as 800 laptops being discarded for every second.

According to a Digital Trends article, ChromeOS flex expends 19 percent less energy than other operating systems. Moreover, the conversion of 2,000 units to ChromeOS equates to saving 1.5 million kilos of carbon dioxide in the next eight years.

ChromeOS Flex is also easy to install and use. As per Google, a USB drive is all it takes to install this system in old Windows and Mac devices.

To install, Google advises users to follow these steps:

  • Create a bootable ChromeOS Flex USB drive to try ChromeOS Flex prior to installing it.
  • When ready, install ChromeOS Flex on your PC or Mac to replace your operating system.
  • Deploy ChromeOS Flex to more devices in your organization via a USB drive or network deployment.

Banner courtesy: Screengrab from Android and Chrome Enterprise via Youtube



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