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CloudReady Free 45.3.39

Run ChromeOS on your PC

by Mike Williams

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License: Free, for personal-use only
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 24 February 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2115
Developer: Neverware
RSS News Feed: http://www.neverware.com/landingpage?format=RSS
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/neverware
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Neverware
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CloudReady Free
Run ChromeOS on your PC

CloudReady Free is a custom version of ChromeOS which you can run on a PC: standalone, dual booting with Windows (maybe), or in a virtual machine.

The download link gets you the ChromeOS image. Once you have it, use the Chromebook Recovery Utility to install it on an empty 8 or 16GB USB key (beware, this wipes any other data on the device).

Boot your target PC from the USB key and the installation program walks you through the setup process.

If you'd rather use VirtualBox, convert the CloudReady image to a VirtualBox disk image first. You'll need a command something like this, changing the paths as appropriate for your system:

“c:\program files\oracle\virtualbox\VBoxManage.exe” convertfromraw "C:\Users\MyName\Downloads\cloudready-free-45.3.39.bin\chromiumos_image.bin" cloudready.vdi

Create a new VM, using the file you've just created as the storage device.

Otherwise, we based the VM on "Other" type and "Other/ Unknown" version; checked System > Motherboard "Enable I/O APIC" and "Enable EFI"; set Processors to half of our available CPUs; enabled PAE/ NX; set video memory to 128MB, and enabled 3D acceleration.

Boot the VM and the installer should appear within a few seconds.

Verdict:

The idea of turning a PC into a Chromebook misses the point of both devices, we'd suggest. But if you disagree, or just want to try ChromeOS in a VM, then CloudReady Free gets the job done easily enough.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.17.61

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's New in Version 2.17.61

- Search messages within a specific chat: Open any chat, tap the chat name at the top to go to Contact Info/Group Info, and then tap Chat Search.
- Design improvements for iOS 11.
- Post text-only updates to your status and they'll be visible for 24 hours. Just tap the pencil icon in the Status tab, type what you'd like to share, and pick a background color or font.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: