One of the nice things about Chromebooks is that Google pushes out software updates automatically which means that security patches, new features, and other enhancements are just about always at your fingertips. But if you buy a Chromebook today, how do you know you’ll still get updates in a few years?

Well, if you’re an Enterprise of Education customers, Google is promising official support and OS updates for at least 4 years from the time the Chromebook or Chromebox launches.

HP Chromebook14

That means a Toshiba Chromebook you pick up today will be officially supported through at least February, 2018. Customers who picked up an Acer C700 Chromebook a few years ago can expect support through July, 2015 and a newer Chromebook X720 will be supported through November, 2017 or later.

While Google isn’t making any promises about the consumer models of these Chromebooks, if Google plans to continue offering enterprise and education customers support it should be relatively trivial to keep the consumer versions of the same devices up to date.

Since not every Chromebook is offered to Enterprise and Education customers, Google hasn’t spelled out the end-of-life dates for every Chrome OS notebook. But you can find details for a number of models at the Chrome OS End of Life Policy page.

via Chrome Story

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9 replies on “Google Chromebooks get 4+ years of OS updates (Enterprise and Education)”

  1. It is extremely frustrating that Google buries this policy on a page which is not in any way linked on their Chromebook Devices page and which wasn’t even sent to us in the ‘welcome’ email when we deployed our Chromebooks. There is no mention of a short shelf-life. The Samsung laptops we deployed last summer will be useless after ONLY 4 years! Mr. Linder writes about this as if Google is giving us something great – FOUR YEARS of updates. After that, if you find and read their EOL page, Google’s administrative controls will stop working on the devices, rendering them useless. We won’t even be able to donate them because Google’s next updates will lock in the security (good!) of auto-re-enrollment. Imagine if Apple or Microsoft said that they would stop supporting an OS after only four years, and that you would have to throw away your old device and buy a new one! ARGH!

  2. I see my fantastic Chromebook 5 will no longer get further improvements of the ChromeOS.from January 2016 (at the earliest). As after 18 months of continuous daily use everything about it still seems like new and the OS has improved dramatically – and no doubt will continue to improve for 2 more years – I think I’d be upset if I didn’t continue to get security updates, just as I am about WindowsXP going in April. It is just perfect for me as it is.
    Anyway though if it does become unusable in 2016 it will have cost me about £40 a year for a perfect robust mobile computing/communications package – no ridiculously expensive smartphone needed.
    I do see that manufacturers have to have some ongoing sales to keep going so if that’s part of the reason, fine by me. As I must pay £200 a year for line rental/broadband at home, what’s a continuing payment of about £40 a year for a new Chromebook ? I just hope it is built as well as the Chromebook 5.

    1. Exactly, not many people would want to replace a perfectly working device just because it’s “old”. Only, tech geeks with too much money will buy something new that doesn’t provide that much of a noticeable difference every 18 months. I still have 7-9 year old PCs running Windows XP. The only things I’ve replaced were hard drives. I’ll switch them to Linux later this year after support for XP ends.

      Aside from closed off ARM Chromebooks, providing updates to Chrome OS for consumer Intel Chromebooks for less than 4 years is a bad decision. Heck, I expect even longer support for an OS that’s supposed to be lightweight.

  3. Four years is a lot longer than I bet most would hang on to their ChromeOS devices. At $200-$300 folks will replace them every 18 months.

  4. Why are they specifically targeting enterprise and education if it’s trivial to also support consumers? This is worrisome.

    Also, I can see ARM Chromebooks losing support earlier due to the usual issues with ARM but shouldn’t Intel based ones be supported longer? The Linux kernel takes care of most/all the drivers. What other hardware specific things would cause Chrome OS to be difficult to support on older Intel Chromebooks?

    1. I’m not saying they “aren’t” supporting consumer models for the same period. I’m saying I haven’t seen a similar support document for consumer models.

      This is basically something that seems to be aimed at enterprise customers who want to make sure they know what they’re getting when they make bulk purchases.

      Since there’s official 4+ year support for these models, I’d be surprised if Google *didn’t* roll out OS updates to consumer models for the same period of time… I just haven’t seen any guarantees yet.

      1. For me, when dealing with products, I try not to expect more than what’s said because, more often than not, I won’t get more than that.

        I’m still in my wait and see phase on Chrome OS devices. I hope there’s documentation on what the promised support period is for consumers and it’s just not found yet.

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