Google is working with manufacturers to extend support window for Chromebooks
On Tuesday, March 9th, Google celebrated 10 years of Chrome OS by announcing a variety of new features, including a new Phone Hub that connects an Android phone to a Chromebook, a screen capture tool, an enhanced clipboard for saving up to five items, and more. During the press briefing, Google also addressed a question regarding the support window for Chromebooks.
As pointed out by PCWorld, Chromebooks have a shorter support cycle compared to Windows PC. While Microsoft ends support for Windows after a certain amount of time, it doesn’t necessarily end support for the device running the operating system. Essentially, if someone has a slightly old machine, they can install a newer version of Windows and go about their business, unless you have a very ancient PC.
It is not the same when it comes to Chromebooks. Once your Chromebook has passed its support expiration date, you will no longer receive security patches or browser updates, thereby leaving the entire system useless. With the growing ecosystem of Chrome OS, especially with 50 new Chromebooks coming in 2021, the sudden death is going to affect a larger number of users over time.
According to Alexander Kuscher, director of product management of ChromeOS, “Google began taking steps in 2019, when it began extending the support window to eight years. For most purchases of a Chromebook, they’re looking at a long life of support. I think we’re absolutely working with manufacturers, the PC OEMs, to not ship Chromebooks that don’t have a long support life. And so we’re working on commercial agreements with our OEMs, that are essentially incentives for that not to happen. So we expect that that will be increasingly unlikely or almost impossible to happen in the future.”
Google is also said to be working on under-the-hood changes from a technical and architectural perspective to make sure that all Chromebooks have the latest updates at a browser level, if not the OS level. However, the biggest challenge that Google faces is what the customers purchase. The company doesn’t have full control over customers who buy old or used Chromebooks from a reseller who may be offering discounts to offload inventory. Google is also said to be working with Chromebook manufacturers to avoid this situation.
If you are planning to invest in a new Chromebook, make sure you scan through our guide of the best Chromebooks, before making a purchase.