What if you could give your janky old laptop PC a fresh-faced Chrome OS-inspired makeover? That's the promise of CloudReady, a free operating system based on the open-source Chromium OS that essentially converts legacy Windows, Macs, and even older Chrome OS devices into brand-new Chromebooks. Now Neverware, the company behind the endeavor, has announced that it's officially joining up with Google — but there may be some unwanted consequences for consumers.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Laptops are in short supply globally—especially cheap ones like Chromebooks. But if you have an older Windows 7, 8, or even Vista laptop sitting in a closet somewhere at home, it's possible you can convert it into a secure and relatively performant Chrome OS device with the use of a totally free tool. The benefits are obvious: your old laptop gets a new lease on life, and you don't spend any money. As long your laptop still basically works, it's entirely possible you can be up and running with Chrome OS using just a USB stick and the relatively simple instructions below in minutes.