Hotel converts Windows to Chromebooks using CloudReady

At the end of 2020, Google acquired a company that offers software to convert old PCs into Chrome OS-like devices. In one high-profile example, a Norwegian hotel chain turned to CloudReady to convert several thousand ransomware-locked Windows laptops into Chromebooks.

Nordic Choice Hotels is a large chain in Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltic States with 200 properties. It suffered a ransomware attack in December, as reported by E24, which encrypted files on the device and forced IT staff to take Internet / network down. This simple hack demanded the hotel group to pay a ransom to recover the files (employee records but not guest information) and prevent leaks.

In terms of impact, staff had to resort to pen and paper (or rather marker and whiteboard), while broken key card systems forced employees to ‘lock up all guests with a card’. master key ”.

Instead of spending several hours removing the virus from each device, Nordic Choice decided to speed up a Chrome migration project that was already underway. A total of 2,000 Windows laptops, which appear to be Lenovo ThinkPads, were converted with CloudReady to a Chromebook-like experience within 48 hours. Google seems to have helped this by letting them “jump in the queue to get the project going.”

Then they could get back on the road by switching operating systems – and that could be done from head office, instead of someone having to go to every hotel to clean every unit.

The final tally now stands at 3,500 machines, while the company has chosen to clean 250 Windows laptops.

CloudReady today offers a “Chromebook-like” experience based on Chromium OS. Going forward, it “will become an official Chrome OS offering, and existing customers will be upgraded seamlessly as it happens.”

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