One signature feature of Chrome OS is automatic updates that happen seamlessly in the background. Since launch, Google has gradually extended that upgrade period, with Chromebooks released in 2020 and beyond now seeing 8 years of updates.
Google announced this change at the BETT 2020 education conference in London for an audience that’s especially conscious of how long technology purchases last. The first Chromebooks only received 3 years of automatic updates, but Google eventually doubled that. Back in November, the company added an extra year or more to over 100 current devices.
Today’s extension will see Chromebooks released from 2020 onwards receive on average 8 years of feature and security updates. The exact timeframe can range between 7.5 and 8.5 years depending on when the device platform — which includes the processor and other similar specs — was released.
Up from 6.5 years, this extension followed feedback from customers, Chromebook manufacturers, and other partners. Google hopes this will give schools more time to transition from older Chrome OS hardware.
For example, the new Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet and Acer Chromebook 712 are set for automatic updates until June 2028. Google maintains a full list of Automatic Update (AUE) “end-of-life” dates online. School IT staff can also see device EOLs from the Google Admin Console.
At BETT, Google also announced that there are 40 million Chromebooks in use by education customers around the world. This is up 10 million from the same period last year, while 2018 only saw 5 million YoY growth.
Lastly, the company today announced that it’s increasing the list price of its Chrome Education Upgrade software that helps IT admins oversee a fleet of devices from $30 to $38. It allows for security management, remotely disabling devices, setting policies, and more.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.