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Google invests in Neverware, a company turning old Windows laptops into Chromebooks

Google is funding Neverware. The company's CloudReady software can turn your old, forgotten laptop into a Chromebook with plenty of life left in it.

Published onOctober 12, 2017

Chromebooks are an amazing tool. If you have a child in school right now, you know that there’s a major push for Chromebooks in the classroom. They run Chrome OS, which is very lightweight and able to run on older or slower hardware. This allows Chromebooks to keep costs down when compared to Windows or iOS devices. The relatively small cost of a Chromebook makes them perfect for school systems that are always looking to stretch a buck as far as they can.

While many schools are now investing in Chromebooks, the question is what to do with older Windows-based laptops from the past. They might still work, but they’re generally too slow for students to use effectively. That’s where Neverware comes in. Neverware’s CloudReady is built using the same technology behind Chrome OS. It gives customers a lightweight operating system to install on their older hardware to breathe new life into it.

Now Google is getting involved. Neverware just closed its Series B funding round with the help of Google. Exact numbers weren’t disclosed, but the fact that Google is joining the cause says a lot about the company. Neverware will continue to work with school districts, but is now looking into the enterprise sector as well.

With CloudReady, organizations can reduce the total cost of managing devices, more effectively scale for growth and productivity, and dramatically improve security—all without purchasing new hardware. IT teams also enjoy integration with Chrome Enterprise through Google’s cloud-based Admin console, simplifying and unifying remote management of the disparate models in their fleets.

It’s an interesting push and one that has some logic to it. Some detractors point out that it might be a hard sell to get companies to use legacy hardware. Newer devices can bring additional security issues and compliance costs. But, having a lost-cost option to get your employees connected to essential services could be compelling to smaller companies that don’t have the money to replace aging machines.

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