BETT 2020 doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow but we’re already getting exciting tidbits of news from the global technology in education conference in London. We’ve already seen the release of Acer’s latest Chromebook for EDU and now, Google has dropped a major bombshell that’s front-page newsworthy.
As you may now, Chrome developers have been putting in work to extend the life of more than 130 Chromebooks by adding as much as a year or more to their Auto Update Policy dates. Today, however, Google has announced that devices launched in 2020 will get a minimum of eight (8) years of automatic updates on the normal 6-ish week schedule. From The Keyword:
And now, devices launching in 2020 and beyond will receive automatic updates for even longer. The new Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet and Acer Chromebook 712 will both receive automatic updates until June 2028. So if you’re considering refreshing your fleet or investing in new devices, now is a great time.The Keyword
We reached out to Google to clarify if this only applied to EDU devices or if it pertained to consumer devices as well and we’re excited to report that the latter applies. That means Chromebooks like the Samsung Galaxy and ASUS Flip C436 should also enjoy a long, healthy life of eight years or more. The only grey area at this time are devices that are being released for the first time but are built on platforms that have been around for a year or longer. We will still see EDU and consumer models hitting shelves that are powered by Gemini Lake and even Kaby Lake processors but until they land on the official Auto Update Policy page, we won’t know if they’ll get 8 years of updates.
I probably don’t have to tell you how important this is for Chromebook users and the entire Chrome OS ecosystem. If you listed the top five biggest complaints surrounding Chromebooks, it’s a sure bet that you’d find printing, Bluetooth and the relatively short amount of time that devices are guaranteed to get updates. It is very reassuring to know that, moving forward, eight years will be the standard. Now we just need to work on better visibility of device AUE dates. This should be printed clearly on the box and in online listings for any and all Chromebooks, in my opinion. That’s a rant for another day. If you’d like to read more about Google’s announcements at BETT, you can head over to The Keyword.