Neverware has created a software program that turns any old computer into a Chromebook or Chromebox. All it takes is a USB flash drive and a few minutes to load the company’s Cloudready software onto a computer.

The company worked with Google to develop Cloudready, and it’s a cloud-based operating system based on Chromium OS, which is the open source version of the software that runs on Chromebooks.

Since everything runs online, via a web browser, the operating system puts less strain on the computer’s hardware, which helps it run faster and more efficient.

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Neverwhere claims that Cloudready can make any computer that is less than eight years old run like new again.

The program is built with schools in mind, although there is a version for individuals. Schools, however, can take advantage of additional tech support and automatic updates.

Schools can take advantage of low-cost technical support for $25 per machine, per year, or $59 for a four-year license. Neverware says that Cloudready could add at least four years to the life of a computer.

Neverware has 100 schools listed as paid subscribers to the Cloudready premium service. Instead of having to buy new devices as older ones become outdated, schools can simply download Cloudready and keep existing computers running for longer.

via CNN Money

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24 replies on “Cloudready uses Chromium OS to breathe life into old computers”

  1. Many schools don’t have enough funds to buy new machines, so accept older PC coming from corporations and government institutions. In these cases, you will have near-new machines with low-level specs.

  2. Will test it on an 5 years old Atom N450 powered netbook. So far the image has a gigantic size of 5.2 GiB –twice the size of ArnoldTheBat’s latest Chromium build that won’t ease the choice of USB stick to dd it :/

    Oh and I’m with the previous posts questioning the “give life to any (old) hardware” marketing promise. ChromiumOS on a 1.6 GHz, 2 GB RAM lets me wait 20 sec average for opening each message in Gmail… The 4H battery life won’t suffice, I’m affraid!

  3. With no MP3, MP4, or H.264 playback? How does this “breathe life” into anything?

  4. My issue on older computers is that the graphics on the web are too advanced for older integrated GPU’s. You can’t watch any video, and the tabs use too much memory. So I’m confused as to how Chromium addresses this- as it is web based.

    1. You’re assuming older computers don’t have discrete video cards. Also, they may have more memory than many of the new systems which are limited to 2GB.

      1. So are you saying this is more targeted at systems with poor CPU performance as opposed to graphics or memory? Because all of the old laptops that I’ve retired have run into more issues regarding graphics and memory as opposed to CPU.

        1. I wasn’t focusing on laptops, so I guess so. That said, the only device I tried installing an alternative OS on was a laptop, so maybe they are a natural target for such changes.

  5. Well, there is also Chromixium (Ubuntu tweaked to look and act more like Chrome OS, but is still Ubuntu). I can why Google would like it, though. It promotes people to access Googles services just as on Chrome OS, but without Google having to do any work making their Chrome OS work on those older machines.

    1. Hi – I’m the Product Manager for CloudReady – both version get free updates! Support is the major difference.

      1. Thanks for chiming in as that would have been a very major issue if it had been the case.

  6. Good idea, though I have to wonder how many school computers are still operational after four or five years, especially those regularly used by students…

  7. I’ll give it a shot tonight. I’ve tried Arnoldthebat’s build a few times but always have issues with Netflix and switch to a Ubuntu based distro.

  8. I’m running Windows 10 on an 8 year old computer just fine. Having a SSD helps.

    1. SSDs are an excellent way to freshen up your old computer, but replacing the old HDD and transferring the OS to the new drive is probably something many users just don’t want to tackle. This solution — just installing a new OS — is probably easier for them, and I suspect many old computers are only being used for simple tasks these days anyway.

    2. Windows 10 also gave a new breath of life to even my 5 year old netbook with very slow hard disk. If I wanted to do “everything runs online, via a web browser”, I can already do that too simply by running Chrome (or any browser).

  9. While the memory stick boots up on the old intel atom 330 mitx system I have and runs fine, installation to anything bootable fails every single time. I just wanted a little demo system for chromeos. Not exactly speedy running off usb2.0 flash though.

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