Google is updating its End of Life (EOL) policy for Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices. Now instead of offering a minimum of 4 years of software updates and support, Google will offer at least 5 years of support.

That clock starts ticking the day a new Chromebook or Chromebox is made available to commercial customers, so the Dell Chromebook 11 which launched this January, for instance, will receive official support from Google through at least January, 2019.

Asus Chromebox

Google’s EOL policy applies to many devices that had already launched — for instance the Lenovo X131e Chromebook which had previously had an End of Life Date of February, 2017 is now supported through February, 2018.

I suspect most consumers who pick up a $200 Chromebook this year don’t really expect to still be using it in 2019. But the move makes sense when you look at commercial and non-profit organizations. Schools, businesses, and other institutions often buy new hardware in bulk and expect to hang onto it for a long time. After spending thousands of dollars on new laptop or desktop computers, they don’t want to be forced to upgrade too often.

At the same time, advances in hardware make it difficult for a company like Google to continue supporting old devices indefinitely while continuing to optimize their software for future generations of hardware.

Google’s EOL page promises support for Chrome OS for Enterprise and Education customers, Chromebox for meetings users, and for consumer devices.

Last time we looked at the Chrome OS EOL policy it seemed to only affect enterprise and education devices… but if Google’s going to be pushing software updates to the Acer C720 Chromebook for business customers until late 2018, there’s no reason for the company to withhold those updates from the general public.

via CNET and +Brandon Tiller

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11 replies on “Google Chromebooks now get 5 years of support”

  1. the HDMI worked great for my mother who can hardly see on her tv. since an update it doesnt work that way anymore. blank tv screen, the monitor on the book is visble, but cany click a thing on it. mouse is there but doesnt open anything so maybe i could just check some settings for the moirroring. but that doesnt matter. it woked great for a while, but now just simply doesnt. what is the secret powers to fix this issue.

  2. Will we ever see a Chrome Phone? With 5 years of support (and OS updates), I’d buy one in a heartbeat!

    1. I believe you will. I still believe that Chrome will replace Android for all devices. Eventually.

    2. I thought about the idea. It could definitely be a clean OS that could work on slate phones or even keyboard phones.
      However, Android still has more functionality overall, and putting a web-based OS in an always-connected device certainly makes sense, although it would be difficult in an age of heavy usage and low data limits.

  3. Still pretty short IMO, we love to kick Microsoft yet they provide support and patches for more than 10 years! That is on reason I stay away from chromebooks as well as most Android products other than the Nexus brand stuff.

    1. Even the Nexus brand stuff isn’t immune from getting support cut off after a few years, support is just longer than the normal maximum for Android devices in general…

      But these are devices that have rapid end of life hardware…

    2. Microsoft having support for 10 years means the OS itself is more prone to failure. I built a desktop computer a year ago and only had to reinstall or re-image windows 5 times. I’ve had my chromebook for 4 months and have yet to do a full reset on it.

  4. I think that is a good idea. With Chromebooks not costing a lot, it would be affordable to get a new one each year, IMO.

    1. Not for schools. Many keep their computers for almost 10 years or more.

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