October 3, 2022

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Chrome OS Flex is an ideal option to get off the cliff for the millions of PCs that can’t run Windows 11

Chrome OS Flex is an ideal option to get off the cliff for the millions of PCs that can't run Windows 11

Oric Lawson

October 14, 2025 marks the end of support and security updates for the Home and Pro versions of Windows 10. It also means the end of the official guaranteed feature and security updates for Windows PCs that don’t meet Windows 11 hardware requirements.

Looking back at the start of 2022, that date is still a long way off. Many Windows 10 PCs will fail in the next three and a half years, and many people who want to upgrade to better or faster hardware will have a chance to do so. But those who enjoy repairing, maintaining, and upgrading old hardware to keep them useful, will be past the edge of this Windows 10 update cliff before they know it.

So what happens to this device when Windows 10 disappears? Running Windows 11 on unsupported devices One possible solution, but we have no idea how long Microsoft will allow users to install and run and update Windows 11 on older computers. The company could cut security updates for these computers tomorrow, or it could allow them to run the new operating system indefinitely. It’s hard to plan for this ambiguity.

Switch to a Linux distro – especially the more user-friendly distros like UbuntuAnd Mintor Primary OS— is another option. But “easy to use” is relative, and any Linux distro can have obtuse parts and be difficult for newcomers to learn. And let’s face it, if a Linux distribution was going to happen Oh really Compete with and succeed with Windows on consumer desktops and laptops, it probably will now.

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Enters Chrome OS FlexGoogle-supported version of the company’s lightweight operating system that will run on most standard computers. Flex is the successor to CloudReady, a product based on the Chromium OS Purchased by Google in late 2020 which we covered Since its early days As a way to turn old computers into tacky Chromebooks.

Chrome OS (which is also based on Linux but tries to hide it mostly) has managed to find a foothold in the world of consumer PCs dominated by Windows and macOS thanks in part to its simplicity, support for a large and good – company Resourceful, easy-to-use management tools for schools and businesses. And with Flex, Google is offering those organizations the chance to switch fleets of Windows laptops to the Chrome OS fleet almost overnight while giving users of older PCs an alternative operating system to try.

We’ve downloaded and installed the first developer version of Chrome OS Flex and read all of its documentation to find out what kind of hardware it will run and how it differs from the CloudReady OS it replaces.

Beware: beta

The same tool that you use to create Chrome OS recovery media will also create Chrome OS Flex media.  And this USB drive can cover all computers.
Zoom / The same tool that you use to create Chrome OS recovery media will also create Chrome OS Flex media. And this USB drive can cover all computers.

Andrew Cunningham

You’ll find Chrome OS Flex listed among all “real” Chrome devices in the official Chromebook Recovery Utility. Select Chrome OS Flex as your device manufacturer and the Flex development channel will appear. There is no need to download different images for different devices or CPU types. the Installation documentation Very clear and has a lot of detail if you need it.

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The development channel build for Flex, based on Chrome OS version 100, is clearly a very early version of the OS. It’s still labeled “CloudReady” in more than one place, and the list of Google approved forms as well Filled with reminders that you should expect minor or major problems. As with CloudReady, it is possible to run Chrome OS Flex entirely from a USB installation drive if you want to try out the operating system without formatting the internal storage, which is what we recommend at the moment.