Chrome Flex: what is it and why are people using it?

Chrome Flex: what is it and why are people using it?
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

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Google has wanted to take advantage of the fact that Microsoft intends to make millions of Windows 10 PCs obsolete by 2025 by urging users to use their ChromeOS Flex operating system instead.


Naveen Viswanatha, ChromeOS product manager, has announced the “11 ways to win with ChromeOS Flex” and has explained that ChromeOS is an excellent option for Windows 10 users who are faced with the dilemma of getting rid of their devices or upgrading to Windows 11.

Viswanatha rushed to point out that hundreds of millions of Windows 10 devices are destined for landfills if Microsoft gets its way. In fact, lobbying groups have urged Microsoft to reconsider its plans, but so far without success. Free support ends in October 2025.

That’s where ChromeFlex appears

Google’s proposal is that instead of discarding that old hardware, users can load ChromeOS Flex on it. ChromeOS Flex is a distribution of ChromeOS that can be installed on conventional hardware.

In the world of Google, ChromeOS Flex is “built with security as the first principle, not as a last-minute idea.” The company claims that it doesn’t even need antivirus software. Just like a Mac.

We remember another company that claimed their products were immune to malware, and things didn’t go well. However, we are confident that this time things will be different.

Google also states that IT support costs are reduced, that ChromeOS Flex is flexible, and that the operating system increases productivity and works with existing business applications.

However, there are many caveats. In theory, this measure could prevent Windows 10 devices from ending up in the landfill, but currently only about 600 devices are certified to run ChromeOS Flex. For Google, this means that “almost any device you have deployed will work seamlessly with ChromeOS Flex installed”.

If your device is not on the list and you feel brave, the requirements for ChromeOS Flex are feasible: only 4 GB of RAM and a compatible Intel or AMD x86-64 bit device should work, although any device manufactured before 2010 is likely to have issues.

And then there are the applications. This part is more difficult to overcome, and ignoring the Microsoft 365-shaped elephant in the room is hard. Microsoft’s productivity suite dominates the corporate world, although Google has made a series of incursions over the years with its own set of tools.


Google’s solution? Streaming, of course. Stream those applications to your ChromeOS Flex desktop. A good solution, no doubt, but it will require effort and expenses for those organizations that are not yet running applications that way.

However, it is unlikely that Google’s intervention will lead to a widespread shift to ChromeOS Flex. According to Statcounter, ChromeOS has a desktop market share of only 1.76%, well below the 72.99% enjoyed by Windows. Even Linux has a 3.77% market share.

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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