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Winners and Losers: Chrome OS saves old laptops as Windows leaves Brits app-less

Its the weekend again, meaning its time for another edition of Winners and Losers. This week, its the battle of the operating systems with Google’s Chrome OS crowned our winner and Windows 11 users our loser. 

It’s not been the most eventful week in tech. Samsung’s Galaxy S22 launch and February’s big Nintendo Direct having taken place the previous week, making this one feel quite a bit quieter. 

This week saw the release of three new smartphones – OnePlus’ affordable Nord CE 2 and the colour-changing Realme 9 Pro and 9 Pro Plus. New headphones also arrived from the likes of Audio-Technica, Sony and B&O, while KEF unveiled its newest set of high-end Blade and Reference speakers

Scroll down to learn who picked up our winner and loser titles this week and why… 

Chromebook Chrome OS Flex

Winner: Google 

Our winner is Google, who this week announced software that will transform your old Windows or macOS laptop into a Chromebook at no extra cost. 

Chrome OS Flex gives users access to web apps and virtualisation, fast boot-up speeds, background system updates and built-in security protection and features the same code base and release cadence as Chrome OS. Devices running the cloud-based OS can even be managed by IT alongside regular Chromebooks via the Google Admin console. 

The software is designed to bring new life to outdated laptops at businesses and schools that might otherwise be thrown out. Not only could this save a lot of money but it should also help to reduce e-waste caused by chucking old tech out. You could even use the software to help donate old laptops to friends, family or organisations in need of devices. 

Chrome OS Flex isn’t technically new. Google acquired Neverware, the company behind the software (then called CloudReady) in 2020, before developing it into what it is today. 

Chrome OS Flex launched an early access version of the software this week, but a stable (and bug-free) version should be available in the coming months. 

Windows 11

Loser: Windows users 

We’ve already crowned one operating system our winner so it felt poetic to choose another as our loser. Luckily for us, Microsoft made it easy with its latest Windows 11 update

This week, the company announced the first major update to its Windows 11 OS since its launch last October. However, one of the most exciting features won’t actually be available in the UK. 

The OS update includes a preview of the Amazon Appstore for Windows, which allows users to install Android apps on their PC, with the first 1000 apps being released this week. 

However, this app store is currently only supported in the US, meaning UK users won’t be able to take advantage of it. 

Not only this, but Microsoft originally suggested that the app store would be available to users from launch, meaning this is the second time Brits have faced disappointment in this department. 

Microsoft has stated that it plans to share more details and broaden the availability of the Amazon Appstore “later this year”, so we’re not getting our hopes up we’ll see the feature here any time in the near future, but hopefully the update won’t be too far off.

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