Neverware Inc
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryEducation technology
FoundedJanuary 2011; 13 years ago (2011-01) in New York, USA
FounderJonathan Hefter
DefunctDecember 16, 2020 (2020-12-16)
FateAcquired by Google
Area served
OwnerGoogle (100%)

Neverware Inc was a New York–based technology company and a subsidiary of Google.

It was the developer of CloudReady, a distribution of Google's ChromiumOS designed to be installed on existing computers (as opposed to Google's commercial version, ChromeOS, which is sold primarily as pre-loaded software on netbooks). Neverware marketed CloudReady as a means to reuse older computers (particularly at schools), thus reducing electronic waste.

Although the company began with an exclusive focus on the US K-12 education sector, it announced in October 2017 its intention to use its Series B funding from Google to further expand into the enterprise market.[1] On December 16, 2020, Neverware announced that it had been acquired by Google.


Jonathan Hefter, founder of Neverware

Jonathan Hefter began developing Neverware's core technology in 2009[2] after graduating from Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.[3] In May 2010, Dogpatch Labs invited Hefter to work out of their Manhattan incubator,[4] and in early 2011 Neverware officially formed, moved to General Assembly's Manhattan location,[5] and began operations. Hefter remains at Neverware as chairman.[6]

After a successful pilot program,[2] Neverware launched in January 2013, rolling out its first product—the desktop virtualization platform PCReady—at schools in the New York City area.[7] The product primarily targeted the K-12 school market, as a means of refurbishing older computers in preparation for wider rollouts of electronic standardized tests.[8] By 2015, PCReady had been adopted at 10% of New York City's schools.[9]

While early reception to PCReady was positive, it faced competition in the education market from Google's ChromeOS ecosystem (including Chromebooks), which leveraged cloud services and lightweight hardware.[8] In response, Neverware began developing a fork of Google's open-source ChromiumOS, known as CloudReady, which was designed to "bring the benefits that many school are realizing with products like Chromebooks to a much wider group of schools for a lower price".[8][9]

In October 2017, Neverware announced that Google would lead its Series B round of investment as a strategic partner and investor.[1]

In March 2018, Neverware announced it would acquire Flint Innovations, the UK-based company behind Flint OS, another offshoot of ChromiumOS.[10]

On December 16, 2020, Neverware announced that it had been acquired by Google, and that its employees would join the main ChromeOS team. The company stated that there would be no immediate changes to the CloudReady product.[11][12] In July 2022, Google released ChromeOS Flex, an official offshoot of ChromeOS with a similar focus to CloudReady.[13][14]



Neverware's first product, PCReady, was a multiseat desktop virtualization platform, seeking to convert older computers to Windows 7–based thin clients using its remotely-managed "Juicebox" server appliance.[2][15][7] The platform was sold as a subscription service per-client.[9]


Neverware's second product, CloudReady, was a distribution of ChromiumOS targeting users and organizations wanting to install the software on existing computers. The commercial version of the product could be managed using Google's existing enterprise tools, allowing surplus hardware to be used in tandem with ChromeOS devices.[16][8][9]


Neverware was backed by a variety of technology and venture capital firms. Investors included Google, Khosla Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Thrive Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Collaborative Fund, OurCrowd, and Mark Suster.[3][7]


Neverware had received media attention for its investment from Google,[17] young founder,[18] noteworthy cause,[19] and projected viability.[5] It had also attracted interest for its potential for reducing Ewaste by extending the lifespan of aging hardware.[20] Neverware had appeared in the Wall Street Journal,[21] the Boston Globe,[22] the Guardian,[23],[24] The New York Times,[25] TechCrunch,[7] The Verge,[2] Engadget,[26] and The MIT Technology Review.[27] Neverware had also been repeatedly recognized as being a great place to work by organizations such as Crain's New York, Built in NYC, Business Intelligence Group, and Great Place to Work.[28]


  1. ^ a b "Neverware Launches Series B Funding Round to Fuel Enterprise Expansion of CloudReady".
  2. ^ a b c d Popper, Ben (2012-12-11). "Neverware hopes to save cash-strapped schools millions by making old PCs run like new". The Verge. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Shontell, Alyson (2012-12-12). "An Admirable New Startup, Neverware, Has Raised $1 Million To Try And Save Schools A Lot Of Money". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Neverware Means Never Buying a Computer Again". The New York Observer. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b Shontell, Alyson (2011-06-07). "The 25 Hot New York City Startups You Need To Watch". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  6. ^ "About us".
  7. ^ a b c d Crook, Jordan (2013-05-20). "Neverware Raises $1M To Keep Schools' Computers Quick Like Lightning". TechCrunch. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Popper, Ben (2016-02-17). "How schools around the country are turning dead Microsoft PCs into speedy Chromebooks". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  9. ^ a b c d "Cloudy with a Chance of (Great) Performance: Neverware Heads to the Cloud". EdSurge. 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  10. ^ "Neverware to Acquire Flint Innovations, Creators of Flint OS".
  11. ^ Chin, Monica (2020-12-16). "Google acquires Neverware, a company that turns old PCs into Chromebooks". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  12. ^ Salter, Jim (2020-12-16). "Google bought CloudReady, the largest ChromiumOS distribution". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  13. ^ Cunningham, Andrew (2022-02-16). "Chrome OS Flex is an ideal off-ramp for millions of PCs that can't run Windows 11". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2022-02-18.
  14. ^ Warren, Tom (2022-07-14). "Google's Chrome OS Flex is now available for old PCs and Macs". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  15. ^ Watters, Audrey (2011-01-29). "Neverware Breathes New Life Into Schools' Aging Computers". readwrite. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  16. ^ Popper, Ben (2017-10-11). "Google invests in Neverware, a startup that's turning dead PCs into Chromebooks". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  17. ^ "Google invests in Neverware, a startup that's turning dead PCs into Chromebooks". Oct 11, 2017.
  18. ^ Cannon, Lauren (May 2011). "CEO Passions: Volunteer Firefighting". Inc. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  19. ^ Shontell, Alyson (2011-09-02). "Hey Young, Hot New Yorkers: Why Aren't You Building Useful Businesses?". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  20. ^ Kalan, Jonathan (2013-07-17). "Juicebox: Squeezing new life into old computers". BBC Future. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Revive Your Old Laptop Without Spending a Dime". The Wall Street Journal.
  22. ^ "If you have Windows 7 on your computer, read this". The Boston Globe.
  23. ^ "I'm still on Windows 7 – what should I do?". The Guardian.
  24. ^ "Up-and-Comers". Forbes. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  25. ^ Lipinski, Jed (2013-03-30). "We're One Big team, So Run Those Stairs". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  26. ^ Hollister, Sean (2011-01-24). "Neverware's Juicebox 100 squeezes new life into aging school computers (video)". Engadget. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  27. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri (2011-01-27). "Making Old Computers Feel Brand New". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Neverware Accolades".