If you’re like myself or Robby, Google’s End of Life policy for Chromebooks never really crosses your mind. We try out new devices all the time and switch our daily work setups more often than you can imagine. We can’t help it. We’re finicky, we love tech and are always anxious to try out something new.
For others, especially those in charge of hundreds or thousands of devices in educational institutions, the longevity of device updates can play a major role in deciding where budgets get allocated.
Last year Google extended the End of Life for Chromebooks from 4 years to 5. In my original article I attested to why this policy was, for the most part, irrelevant due to a number of reasons. In hind sight, I failed to consider the fact that Chromebooks have and continue to dominate the educational market and continuing device updates are not only relevant but crucial to many.
Recently we reported on what appears to be the end of automatic updates for Google’s original Chromebook, the CR-48. While researching I glanced back at the support page for the End of Life policy and stumbled upon some subtle, yet very important changes.
First, a name change. The End of Life policy, in recent months, has been renamed the Auto Update policy. This is, in my opinion, a much more fitting name for the policy. When a device ceases to receive updates that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. Just recently I saw a user in the Chromebook Central forum who is still using her new 6 year old CR-48 on a daily basis. Which leads me to the next, and more important change to the policy.
The Chromebook Auto Update Expiration (AUE) has now been extended to six and a half (6.5) years. That’s a pretty big jump from five. Extending updates for an extra 18 months can afford administrators the needed time to budget for replacement devices.
The Google support page specifically addresses business and education devices and the original consumer support page now forward to the same page. That would lead me to believe the Auto Update policy will apply to consumer devices as well. Keep in mind the dates from the support page are not official unless otherwise notated. This means updates can extend past these dates but are guaranteed to continue to at least the date listed.
You can find the details for the Chromebook Auto Update policy as well as Android devices by following the link below.
*Update* The second bullet point after the first paragraph of the support page clearly states the AUE policy DOES apply to consumer devices.