Google increases Chromebook support to 10 years
Device support by the manufacturer or third-parties is an important factor when it comes to deciding which device to buy. Many Android smartphones, for example, have had weak support periods, but the situation is improving.
Google launched Chromebooks in 2012 as low-cost devices and the company has had great success in the education world, especially in the United States.
Google faced criticism recently regarding the looming end of support dates of Chromebooks that are still in use. Select devices released in 2019 would reach end of support in 2024 already.
Organizations would have no use for the devices anymore once they reach end of support. While it is possible to install Linux on recently released Chromebooks, it seems unlikely that may would go down that route.
Google announced today that it is extending the support period for Chromebooks to 10 years of automatic updates. Some Chromebook devices, which are often manufactured by third-party manufacturers, faced end of support 5 years after their introduction in the market.
Google writes on the official The Keyword blog: "Starting in 2024, if you have Chromebooks that were released from 2021 onwards, you’ll automatically get 10 years of updates. For Chromebooks released before 2021 and already in use, users and IT admins will have the option to extend automatic updates to 10 years from the platform’s release (after they receive their last automatic update)."
All Chromebooks released in 2021 or later get the support extension automatically. System administrators may also extend support for devices released prior to 2021 to 10 years as well. Google notes, however, that some features or services may not become available on these devices as these "may not be supported".
The increase to 10 years of updates support pushes Chromebooks to the very top of operating system support commits. Apple promises seven years of support for its macOS operating system. Microsoft supports Windows 10, released in 2015, until 2025. It has not made the same pledge for Windows 11, released in 2021.
Many Windows 10 devices can be upgraded for free to Windows 11 though. In fact, even some Windows 7 or 8.1 devices may be upgraded to Microsoft's newest operating system Windows 11, even if they don't meet the minimum hardware requirements.
A sizeable number of Windows devices, including those running Windows 10, can't be upgraded automatically to Windows 11 though, due to the changed system requirements.
One of the problems associated with support timelines is that these start on the day the devices are released. It happens, still today, that devices are sold that are already out of support.
Chromebook users and administrators find more information about the support period extensions on this help page.
Now You: have you used a Chromebook or do you use one?