Google extends Chromebook lifespan to 10 years

Google extends Chromebook lifespan to 10 years

Chromebook

I’ve always been a fan of Chromebooks, but there was always one annoying thing about them – their limited lifespan. Officially, Google and Chromebook vendors only supported these devices until their Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, which used to be three to five years, but extended to eight years for models released in 2020 or later. However, according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Google has made a game-changing decision by now supporting all Chromebooks for up to ten years.

Personally, the limited lifespan of Chromebooks never bothered me. I had several that were over ten years old and still running smoothly. However, for companies and school systems, this posed a problem as they required support contracts and had to retire older Chromebooks prematurely. That’s why Google’s decision to extend support for these devices comes as such a relief.

In response to growing concerns from school administrators and the need to ensure the cost-effectiveness of these devices for educational institutions, Google has significantly extended the support period. By doubling the lifespan of Chromebooks’ original expiration dates, it is estimated that public schools and taxpayers could save around $1.8 billion. This move not only helps to prevent these devices from becoming premature e-waste but also ensures that they remain a viable long-term investment for schools.

Starting next year, Google will provide Chromebook security patches and software upgrades for up to a decade. This substantial extension of support guarantees that no existing Chromebook will expire within the next two years. However, there is a caveat. Google states that changes to the expiration policy require coordination with each partner involved in making the components of these devices. The company needs a security and performance guarantee from the manufacturers. Fortunately, it appears that major Chromebook vendors are expected to collaborate with Google to extend the lifespan of their hardware.

This ten-year support policy is set to begin in 2024, and support will be offered for specific “platforms” rather than manufacturer brands. Platforms are anticipated to refer to specific models, such as low-end ARM-powered Chromebooks or high-end Intel i5 Chromebooks. This approach allows Google to focus on supporting different types of hardware effectively.

In the meantime, Google also announced that they will extend the support lifetime for all 2021 and newer Chromebooks. Moreover, for those with older Chromebooks released before 2021, they can still extend their support once it reaches its AUE. This means that if your Chromebook’s support is set to end within the next two years, you can enjoy an additional two to three years of support.

All in all, Chromebooks now seem like an even better deal for anyone who wants an affordable laptop for school, work, Linux, or any other purpose except gaming, photography, or video editing. If you’re looking for pure play, Windows PCs offer the best options, while Macs excel in serving the needs of photographers and videographers.

Chromebook