Google today announced a major update for its Chromebooks. The company today announced that starting 2024 it will provide 10 years of automatic software updates to Chromebooks. This move will not only increase the longevity of these devices but they will also make them more sustainable for the environment. “Chromebooks get automatic updates every four weeks that make your laptop more secure and help it last longer. And starting next year, we’re extending those automatic updates so your Chromebook gets enhanced security, stability and features for 10 years after the platform was released,” Google wrote in a post on its official blog.
However, there is catch. This support will not begin when you purchase a new Chromebook. Instead, it will be based on the ‘platform’ of specific Chromebook models. Now, Google define the platform as “a series of components that are designed to work together — something a manufacturer selects for any given Chromebook. To ensure compatibility with our updates, we work with all the component manufacturers within a platform (for things like the processor and Wi-Fi) to develop and test the software on every single Chromebook.” While Google’s definition of platform is not particularly easy to understand, what it boils down to is that the 10 year-year support period will not begin when you purchase a Chromebook rather when a company certifies a Chromebook.
There is another caveat. This new policy is applicable to Chromebook models that were released ‘from 2021 onwards’. This information isn’t exactly easy to access or understand. Thankfully, Google has updated its support page to let users know the exact time until when they will get Chrome OS update. If you aren’t sure if your Chromebook will get 10 years of automatic software updates or not, you can check the list here.
As far as Chromebooks released before 2021 is concerned and already in use, Google says that “users and IT admins will have the option to extend automatic updates to 10 years from the platform’s release after they receive their last automatic update”.
Notably, earlier Chromebooks used to get five to six years of updates but that changed in 2020 when the company announced that it will provide up to eight years of updates automatic software updates.
This announcement ensures the longevity of Chromebooks. Typically, a budget laptop is good for around six to seven years maximum, post which it stops getting regular updates and becomes a safety and privacy hazard. Additionally, hardware too becomes outdated, which prevents users from accessing a lot of newer and important features. But Google’s today’s announcement changes that.
In addition to providing regular software updates for a decade, the company announced that it will work with its partners “to build Chromebooks with more post-consumer recycled materials (PCR), and rolling out new, power-efficient features and quicker processes to repair them”. The company also said that it is rolling out ‘updates that help make repairs even faster’. This update will also enable technicians to repair Chromebooks without a physical USB key.
Simply put, a Chromebook will run for a longer duration without the performance getting affected. This is particularly beneficial in a price-conscious market like India as it expands the overall lifespan of a device. It also makes Chromebooks more sustainable for the environment.
Author Name | Shweta Ganjoo