Google Now Rolling Out Chrome OS 65 To Chromebooks

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Mountain View-based search giant Google has started rolling out Chrome OS 65 to supported devices. This update brings the necessary bug fix against Spectre variant 2 vulnerability to all Chrome OS computers. The mitigation, dubbed Retpoline, uses binary modification to protect the device against branch target injections. The fix ultimately prevents leakage of sensitive information, and it does not substantially impact the device's performance. In addition, the latest version of the operating system brings a fix for the Meltdown security exploit to Chrome OS devices still running the kernel version 3.14. This security patch, called the Kernel Page Table Isolation feature, isolates user-made segments from the kernel space memory. It is important to note that Intel Chrome OS devices running kernel versions 3.18 and 4.4 already have the KPTI feature since December, i.e. Chrome OS 63.

Aside from the security fixes, Chrome OS 65 also incorporates a set of new functionalities, including a new Enterprise policy that ensures that the account sign-in experience between the browser and the device is consistent. Another new functionality of Chrome OS 65 is the ability to automatically re-enroll managed devices. Moreover, the search function of the Chrome OS launcher is now capable of showing files stored locally on the device. In previous versions of the operating system, the launcher's search functionality only shows Google Drive files and local device folders. Meanwhile, the kiosk mode of Chrome OS now supports mix mode for external displays and there is also a new setting that helps with accurate timezone detection. In addition, the Select-to-Speak accessibility feature now has an option to control the pitch of the computer's voice and there is also a new advanced options screen that is used for tablet setups.

As is usually the case with Chrome OS updates, the latest software package is rolling out in a gradual manner and will take several days until becoming available on a global level. Google said most Chromebooks in existence will receive the latest OS build but has yet to provide a specific model compatibility list.

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