One signature feature of Chrome OS is automatic background updates that occur seamlessly. Google has gradually extended that upgrade period since its launch, with Chromebooks released in 2020 and now seeing 8 years of updates beyond.
At the BETT 2020 education conference in London Google announced this change to an audience that is particularly aware of how long technology purchases last. The first Chromebooks received only 3 years of automatic updates but eventually Google doubled that. The company added an additional year, or more, to over 100 current devices back in November.
Today’s extension will see Chromebooks released on average receive 8 years of feature and security updates from 2020 onwards. The exact timeframe can range from 7.5 to 8.5 years depending on when the device platform was released — which includes the processor and other similar specs.
This extension followed feedback from customers, Chromebook manufacturers and other partners over a span of 6.5 years. Google believes this will give schools more time to make the transition from older hardware to Chrome OS.
For example, until June 2028, the latest Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet and Acer Chromebook 712 will be set for automatic updates. Google maintains a complete list of “end-of-life” Automatic Update (AUE) dates online. School IT staff can also see the Google Admin Console’s device EOLs.
Google also announced at BETT that education customers around the world are using 40 million Chromebooks. This is 10 million higher than last year’s same period, whereas 2018 saw only 5 million YoY growth.
Finally, the company today announced it is raising the list price of its Chrome Education Upgrade software which helps IT administrators oversee a device fleet from $30 to $38. It enables security management remote disabling of devices policy setting and more.