Fresh evidence suggests that Google may be working on a way to expand support for ChromeOS Flex on Chromebooks that no longer support the latest versions of the company’s computer operating system.
ChromeOS is the software that powers all of Google’s Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. Google also provides another OS called ‘ChromeOS Flex’, which essentially provides a breath of fresh air to older Windows, Mac, and Linux laptops. However, the one caveat with ChromeOS Flex is that it cannot be installed on Chromebooks or Chromboxes.
ChromeOS Flex is a cloud-based, lighter version of ChromeOS that can convert old PCs and Macs into a typical Chromebook. The purpose of the project is to turn outdated hardware machines that are capable of serving businesses and students alike.
Google to Release New ‘ChromeOS Flex’ For Older Chromebooks
Last week, Robby Payne, from the tech news site “Chrome Unboxed”, discovered a commit called ‘Flexor’ while looking through Google’s Chromium Repositories. At first, he thought Flexor was just a codename for an upcoming Chromebook but soon realized that it was a ChromeOS Flex project.
He dug deeper looking for any other commits that referred to ‘Flexor’ only to discover an install script that mentioned a thirteenth partition to ChromeOS. The commit revealed that the partition file is 10GB in size, indicating that Flexor was not a small addition to the software, but an entire operating system.
According to information found on Google’s ChromiumOS documentation, the software currently has 12 verified partitions.
Tech news site Android Central reported that when the installation process of the file begins, a message reading “Start Flex-ing” will appear on the screen.
At the moment, when you create a ChromeOS Flex USB Installer, it requires a thumb drive with at least 8GB of storage and a computer with 16 GB of minimum storage space to support the operating system.
Google Promises 10 Years Of OS Updates For Chromebooks Released Since 2019
Last month, Google announced that it would be extending the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date for Chromebooks. Typically, the devices support OS updates for eight years, and the latest development means those same devices will support later versions of ChromeOS for an additional two years.
Payne also mentioned that Flexor is designed for devices that already run ChromeOS and have its existing 12 partitions already installed and running. That means the update won’t be coming to ChromeOS Flex for Windows, MacOS, or Linux.
However, confirmations need to be made for when exactly the ChromeOS Flex update will be launched and which devices will be supported. Also, it has only been a week since Google programmers started working on the Flexor project, suggesting it still has a long way to go before release.
One team member even left a message in the repository that read “doing the final install, keep fingers crossed”.
During the Pixel 8 launch event last month, Google committed to providing its smartphones with seven years of OS updates and two years of security updates. With the announcement, the tech giant addressed one of the main concerns users had with Google-powered devices.
If that news is anything to go by, Google’s promise to support its Chromebooks released post-2018 with 10 years of software updates is a welcome note for all ChromeOS, PC, and Mac users who just don’t want to give up on their trusted laptops and desktops.