ChromeOS Flex’s Days May Be Numbered

Google's ChromeOS Flex may be on the chopping block, with announced changes to ChromeOS casting doubt on the operating system's future....
ChromeOS Flex’s Days May Be Numbered
Written by Matt Milano
  • Google’s ChromeOS Flex may be on the chopping block, with announced changes to ChromeOS casting doubt on the operating system’s future.

    ChromeOS Flex is a popular option for users looking to revitalize older hardware. Because it’s a cloud-based OS, ChromeOS Flex can run well on old hardware that can’t run the latest versions of Windows or macOS.

    In a recent blog post, however, Google says it is working to more fully integrate Android and ChromeOS:

    To continue rolling out new Google AI features to users at a faster and even larger scale, we’ll be embracing portions of the Android stack, like the Android Linux kernel and Android frameworks, as part of the foundation of ChromeOS. We already have a strong history of collaboration, with Android apps available on ChromeOS and the start of unifying our Bluetooth stacks as of ChromeOS 122.

    Bringing the Android-based tech stack into ChromeOS will allow us to accelerate the pace of AI innovation at the core of ChromeOS, simplify engineering efforts, and help different devices like phones and accessories work better together with Chromebooks. At the same time, we will continue to deliver the unmatched security, consistent look and feel, and extensive management capabilities that ChromeOS users, enterprises, and schools love.

    AS ZDNET’s Jason Perlow writes, this could spell doom for ChromeOS Flex:

    Google’s plan, as detailed, suggests that ChromeOS Flex could be phased out, leaving its current users in a difficult position. The ChromiumOS community around ChromeOS Flex may attempt to adjust to these changes if Google open sources ChromeOS Flex, but this is not a guarantee. In the meantime, users may want to consider alternatives, such as various Linux distributions, to keep their older hardware functional.

    One such alternative that many users should consider is Linux. This writer has an old HP laptop that runs like a new machine thanks to switching it from Windows to Linux Mint.

    Users interested in switching to Linux should check out our Linux Distro Reviews series to learn more.

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