Technology Google: Can't run Windows 11 on your PC? Make it a Chromebook

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 10 in October 2025, leaving the millions of PCs that can't run Windows 11 with an outdated and insecure operating system. Google wants people to try something different: install ChromeOS and turn the PC into a Chromebook.

Google has offered Chrome OS Flex for a few years now (formerly known as Neverware CloudReady), which is a modified version of ChromeOS that can be installed on traditional x86-based PCs. It looks and works like the ChromeOS software found on Chromebooks, with the same full-featured Chrome browser, fast startup time, and simple-to-use interface. The operating system can even be managed like a Chromebook, which has made Chrome OS Flex a useful alternative to Windows and Linux for some organizations and businesses.

Google published a blog post that pitches ChromeOS Flex as an option for Windows 10 PCs that don't have an upgrade path to Windows 11, due to hardware requirements or something else. Basically, instead of staying on Windows 10 and dealing with more security problems, or paying for a new PC that can run Windows 11, you could try switching to ChromeOS Flex. The blog post is mostly aimed at businesses and organizations with fleets of computers running Windows, but ChromeOS Flex can be installed for personal use as well.

Google said in the post, "ChromeOS Flex is designed to be fast and efficient, helping your team be more productive. ChromeOS Flex devices boot quickly, don’t slow down over time, and update in the background every four weeks. If you’re starting to notice your Windows or Mac devices slow down or struggle with compatibility issues, ChromeOS Flex can bring them back to life."

This is a smart marketing move from Google, but ChromeOS Flex isn't a perfect solution. For one, it can't run Windows software, except specific applications through a compatibility layer like CrossOver. If you absolutely need to play PC games or use the Windows version of Excel, ChromeOS won't be helpful. You also can't run Android apps or use the Google Play Store, like you can with ChromeOS on most Chromebooks. ChromeOS Flex also lacks support for some PC hardware and accessories, such as CD and DVD drives, fingerprint readers, and Thunderbolt ports.
 

vtqhtr413

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As spotted by Betanews, the Linux distribution is back: Damn Small Linux 2024 and it’s got the same purpose, to run a system on old PCs without bulk and problems. However, not long ago, NTDEV created Tiny Windows 11, which proved that the new OS from Microsoft can also be small and bloatware free.

Damn Small Linux 2024 vs Tiny Windows 11​

Well, actually, that’s not an actual fight between the two. Tiny Windows 11 is still Windows 11 and it has the same hardware requirements as the full fledged OS.

The only difference is that the tiny version will only occupy 400 MB instead of the standard 20 GB. That means it can completely load into RAM, and obviously, run a lot smoother than the public release.
 
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Gandalf_The_Grey

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Can users install other browsers or other software? Or are you stuck with apps from the Google-sphere? 🤔
You can not (easily) install other browsers or software on Chrome OS Flex:
Supported VMs and apps
  • Google Play and Android apps: ChromeOS Flex does not support Android apps or Google Play.
  • Parallels Desktop: ChromeOS Flex does not support running Windows virtual machines (VMs) using Parallels Desktop.
  • Linux development environment: Support for Linux development environment on ChromeOS Flex varies, depending on the specific model.
Maybe you can by using the Linux development environment.
 
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