Google’s Auto Update Policy for Chromebooks – a.k.a. End of Life policy – has been the subject of many a blog post as of late and for good reason. We’ll delve into the arguments as to why another day but suffice to say, change is needed and we have hope that Google has recognized the need.
Apart from revisiting the guidelines that hold they keys to your Chromebooks expiration date, developers are now working on an update that addresses one of my biggest gripes about the AUE policy. Consumer awareness.
If I were to walk into a Best Buy today and attempt to purchase a new Chromebook, it is unlikely that any associate would mention the devices specific End of life date. Granted, they would attempt to switch me to a Windows PC and citing the less-than-savory Auto Update Policy could push some buyers away from Chrome OS. Still, it isn’t something that retailers talk about. Honestly, I doubt that the average electronics store employee even knows about the policy. Let alone, where to look to find information about it. That’s an entirely different issues in and of itself but I don’t run Best Buy and they didn’t ask me how to train their workers. I digress.
Most consumers are likely unfamiliar with the Auto Update Policy and until their Chromebook alerts them of the cessation of updates, they probably will remain ignorant to the pending expiration. We’ve talked about this on many occasions. You buy yourself a brand new Chromebook thinking you’ll get a good five or six years out of it only to find out that the platform on which it was built is already three years old. Guess what? Your shiny, new device is probably already on the downhill slide with and End of Life that’s less than three years away. Shame on everyone involved from the retailer to the manufacturer and all the way back to Google.
A recent change to a number of MediaTek devices gives us hope that Google is working on a way to add some years to new devices out of the box. While were hopeful that this is a sign of changes to come, another addition to Chrome OS will soon inform users of their specific device’s AUE date.
Add Eol section to Settings About page if date is available.Chromium Repository
Developers are working on a few new changes to the About Page of Chrome OS and this one, in particular, will be a welcome enhancement for the countless consumers who are unaware that the policy even exists. While we are holding out that Google will extend the standard length of the policy, letting users know up front what they’re getting for their money. It’s not perfect but it’s a start. The change was added just a day ago. So, it could be a few weeks before we see actual evidence of the End of Life in the setttings menu.
Source: Chromium Repository