Google is Adding EOL Info to Chromebook Settings

Posted on November 13, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Chromebook, Chrome OS with 7 Comments

In the wake of growing controversy over the short support lifecycle of most Chromebooks, Google is making some changes. First, it has quietly extended the support lifecycle for virtually all supported Chromebooks by one year. And now it is going to display the Auto Update Policy (End of Life) date for all Chromebooks right in Settings.

The changes are coming in Chrome OS 80, which is currently set for a February release. In that release, Google will start displaying “Update schedule” information that clearly explains to the user when the Chromebook will no longer get software and security updates.

Chromebooks have always had the same 6.5-year support lifecycle. But this relatively short time span has come under fire in recent years as consumers have started purchasing used Chromebooks only to discover that their support EOL was quickly approaching. The issue, of course, is that Google supports Chromebooks from their time of manufacture. So that makes them less viable as used purchases; a 3-to-4-year-old Chromebook is almost worthless for resale.

That said, Google has quietly supported many Chromebooks past that support EOL life. And, as noted, it has recently extended support for virtually all currently-supported Chromebooks by one year. So the firm has clearly heard the complaints.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Google is Adding EOL Info to Chromebook Settings”

  1. phuor

    In one way Google has caught up to Microsofts world in having to support old hardware.

    Windows 7 being 10 years old at its EOL.

    I wonder how this will be handled with Windows 10 if there never is an 11.

    The EOL in chrome should be published on the purchase page.

    Can we even be sure that the newly bought Chromebook will receive updates within the 3 years consumer warranty?

    • wright_is

      In reply to Phuor:

      Windows 10 versions get left behind. 1803 has just gone out of support.

      On the hardware front, at some point the new update to Windows 10 will require some feature that the hardware doesn't support and therefore won't install itself, which leaves the user with around 12 months to find an alternative, before the old version they are running stops being supported.

      That said, my 2010 Sony Vaio was still supported as of this morning - I haven't checked to see if 1909 will install, but it has 1903 on it.

  2. red.radar

    Cheaper chrome books on the used market?

    1. sounds like great place to find a device if you are just casually interested and want to tinker.
    2. Young kids are likely to destroy a chromeBook in less than 3yrs so this sounds like a great way to save some money

    I bet the people really upset are the institutional customers... but see point 2...

    it’s good that google is extending support and trying to treat their customers better. But 6-7 years for chrome book seems ok..

  3. glenn8878

    I thought the whole point of a browser focused Chromebook is web technology can be easily updated on the fly and not hardware dependent. We already know Android phones hardly ever receive OS updates and are not using the latest OS upon release. On the other hand, Windows tablets can't get updated without enough hard drive space and when processors are so slow, updating really slows them down further. You're lucky to get 3 years of usage out of a Windows tablet.

    The consumer is better off buying a Windows laptop with the best specs they can afford.

  4. brajohnr

    I upgraded my Acer C720 Chromebook that reached EOL in June with a spare 32gb SSD, flashed the ROM and it runs Win 10 1909 (and Linux) just fine. I know this is an edge case and would not work for most users but does show that our technology ages rapidly and support varies widely depending on what platform we choose.

  5. hrlngrv

    Doesn't help me. Mine reach EOS in early summer, and just this week Netflix refuses to work with an outdated version of the Chrome browser. When other streaming services refuse to work with it, I'll finally try converting it to a Linux machine.