Google acquires company that turns old PCs into speedy Chromebooks
Google has announced the purchase of Neverware, a software company which allows users to turn old PCs and Macs into Chromebooks. The company, which had already received significant Series B funding from Google, will join the Chrome OS team to make the company’s CloudReady OS an official Google product.
News broke on Monday with an announcement on the Neverware site: “We’re pleased to share some very exciting news: Neverware and CloudReady are now officially part of Google and the Chrome OS team! We’re looking forward to sharing more details with all our CloudReady customers, users, and fans in the coming weeks and months, but for now, please review the following for answers to some of your anticipated questions”.
CloudReady OS is a fork of Chromium OS, the open-source version of Google’s Chrome OS. It has almost identical branding and capabilities, and because of Chrome OS’s lighter resource footprint, it can turn machines that are no longer capable of running a modern Windows or macOS deployment into zippy little Chromebooks (technically, Chromiumbooks until now, but let’s not be pedantic).
Google has now confirmed the acquisition with a statement of its own: “We can confirm that the Neverware team is joining the Google Chrome OS team. As we continue to support customers with their transition to the cloud, Neverware has offered a valuable solution, CloudReady, that allows customers to unlock the manageability, speed, and productivity of a Chrome OS device. Following our partnership over the past few years, we’re looking forward to working more closely with the team to support more customers in their transition to deploy Chrome OS.”
Google has said that, in the longer term, Cloud Ready OS will become based on Google Chrome OS, rather than Chromium OS. The company works on a freemium model, with the free home edition flanked by enterprise and education editions that come with paid-support.
Providing that the acquisition doesn’t become a victim of Google’s seeming corporate ADHD and end up in the Google Graveyard, the possibilities that Cloud Ready can bring for Google and potential users is immense, whether it’s resurrecting tired school computers, finding a low-cost way of deploying GSuite on a BYOD basis or just keeping computer waste out of landfill, it all means more Chromebook users for Google, at a time when it seems particularly keen to make Chrome OS a genuine Windows competitor.