Leaving behind the force with which these ads are usually made, in a rather discreet way Google acquired Neverware, a startup that for some years has been working with Chromium OS and its adaptation to computers other than Chromebooks.
With this move, this technology would go directly into the hands of Google, a company that had previously invested in this project, which hints at a possible strategy to expand the scope of its operating system in an official way to more computers.
In the last hours, the news began to circulate that Google quietly bought Neverware, a company founded in 2011 that has to its credit a variant of Chrome OS called CloudReady, which turns old computers into Chrome OS machines. He ad was briefly communicated by Neverware, not counting on the other party any public notice issued by Google.
As with some lightweight Linux distributions, CloudReady It is emerging as one more alternative for those users who still have a PC with Windows 7 or another discontinued operating system and therefore, outdated and insecure.
Although CloudReady and Chrome OS are constantly receiving patches and corrections, their advantage over the aforementioned Linux distributions is their integration with the cloud and in general, online services.
Currently, the niche that has brought the best dividends to CloudReady is the educational segment, mainly schools, where it has been possible to give old computers a “second wind”, to be used again with G Suite for Education. Although CloudReady does not allow easy management of internal storage drives, given its emphasis on using the cloud, it has other benefits, such as device management through the Google Admin Console.
Outside of this sector, the system offered by Neverware also has versions for companies and individual users. In addition to PCs, older Macs can also take on new airs with this operating system.
It is not yet time for big changes
Neverware emphasized this point. As long as CloudReady is not officially integrated into Google’s product offering or rather, its functions and features are permanently integrated into Chrome OS, it will be difficult for more important news to appear.
For now, support will continue to work the same way and rates will remain as they were before this transaction. The Home edition will remain free, with the limitation of not integrating with the Google Admin Console. The education sector edition retains its price of $ 20 per year per device, with technical support included in that period and the possibility of accessing a free trial period. The enterprise option, with extended technical support, costs $ 49 per year per device.
According to figures from Neverware, since 2015, the year CloudReady was released to the public, its operating system has accumulated 1.37 million installations.
Clearly, this lays the foundation for an eventual change in strategy in the approach to Chrome OS as an operating system, but competitive, according to the essential requirements for the efficient use of a computer today. Not for nothing, for a few months there has also been commentary on this system an eventual integration with Windows apps, but virtualized.