This week Google released an early access version of Chrome OS Flex, which is basically software that lets you turn nearly any PC into a Chromebook. Officially Google maintains a list of supported computers, but unofficially you can install Chrome OS Flex on just about any computer… including, it turns out, old Chromebooks.
That could come in handy if you have an older model that’s no longer covered by Google’s Auto Update policy, which means that it’s no longer receiving new builds of Chrome OS with new features or security updates. Chrome OS Flex could provide a way to run an up-to-date build of Chrome OS on old gear… but it’s not without its own risks.
Google officially advises against using Chrome OS Flex on Chromebooks that have passed their Auto Update Expiration dates, noting that Google doesn’t officially support this use case and that users may run into issues with the installation process, may have firmware or other hardware compatibility problems, and may not receive updates.
That said, a number of users have already reported success installing Chrome OS Flex on older Chromebooks, which, quite honestly is probably better than running a 2-year-old version of Chrome OS without the latest security patches, even if those devices never receive another update.
Google’s Chrome OS Flex is meant to breathe new life into Mac and Windows PCs… but some users have found it also works on old Chromebooks that have stopped receiving updates. Google doesn’t officially support those models though.
Buried in this week’s Windows 11 Dev Channel release for Insiders is a note that Windows 11 Pro now requires an internet connection during initial setup and even if you’re setting a PC up for personal use, you’ll need a Microsoft Account.
Pine64 EU Store will offer the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro with a choice of operating systems [@pine64eu]
Pine64 has shipped thousands of hacker-friendly phones, laptops, and tablets, but the company offers limited support, instead relying on the community. Regional retail stores are coming soon to offer better support, more options (and higher prices). The stores will go live in April or May, and more details are coming next month, but Pine64 EU has revealed that it will sell the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro smartphones with a choice of operating systems including Manjaro, postmarketOS, and Mobian.
Projects will be compensated per unit sold.
More info about the store’s launch in mid-March. pic.twitter.com/I9hm1CnjE2
— PINE64 EU (@pine64eu) February 16, 2022