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Will your Chromebook reach its 'end of life' date next year?

by Mark Tyson on 18 February 2014, 11:22

Tags: Chrome OS

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When Microsoft updates or issues an 'end of life' date for a version of Windows it can be pretty big news. Only a few days ago we learnt that Windows 7 will not be installed on new consumer PCs from October but it's still not had its card marked for business and enterprise machines. Also we have the end of extended support for Windows XP to look forward to in April. However other OSes and computer systems stop being supported and become more vulnerable to attacks, viruses and exploits - even your shiny new "always up-to-date" Chromebook.

Your product model is considered obsolete

Google has published an official table charting the 'end of life' of many popular Chromebook (and Chromebox) models. The table applies to only ChromeOS devices in the hands of Enterprise and Education customers but we expect that consumer bought Chromebooks should get the same length of support.

You can see from the table above that there are Chromebooks that, unless support is extended, will become obsolete by July next year. The majority of other models have one or two years more. The word 'obsolete' is from Google's definition of what will happen after the Chromebook end of life date. See the quote below;

"When a device reaches End of Life (EOL), it means that the product model is considered obsolete and will no longer receive full support from Google’s Enterprise team. Additionally, Enterprise customers using devices that have passed their EOL date may find that they cannot manage their devices as expected using the administrator control panel or leverage new management features released."

Acer AC700

Other info regarding this EOL date includes the general principle that ChromeOS devices will get support for a minimum of four years from their launch date. Also Google notes that "The End of Sale date is controlled by the OEM (manufacturer) of the device model and has no relation to model’s EOL date." So a bargain 'new' Chromebook might have a shorter useful life than you had expected. At least this is better than the Google Android device updates situation where vulnerable versions of the OS, as sometimes installed on new devices, never get updated.



HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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Surely this is false advertising? If its always up to date its always up to date and somebody arbitrarily deciding a fully functional product is “obsolete” and flicking a switch to stop it updating means they aren't always up-to-date?
I know there's a little more to the os than this but considering that chromebooks are basically glorified web browsers making an item obsolete seems more likely a move by the google/manufacturer to keep additional money coming in.
According to the Google site the EOL effect is a bit vague, it might get moved, it might mean updates cease or it might not…

Everything has an EOL, minimum 4 years is better than a lot of devices can expect to get updates and new features for. It'll still work just fine after that time if by some miracle the mostly disposable hardware is still serviceable…

MattEvansC3
Surely this is false advertising? If its always up to date its always up to date and somebody arbitrarily deciding a fully functional product is “obsolete” and flicking a switch to stop it updating means they aren't always up-to-date?

Surely you don't seriously expect updates to a product forever? Even when there is only a handful functional left in the world and the hardware is so old it doesn't even work in any useful way?

Hardware moves on, brand new features being introduced on 4 year old bargain hardware isn't likely to go very well anyway.
This is a comment I made on the Facebook post, I figured I should share it here, because people need to know just how bad the Chrome OS is in its current state:

Little things added up, like how ‘notepad’ used up what appeared to be most of the CPU's resources when you left it minimized; or when you copy a large group of files into another group, it doesn't ask you to “overwrite, skip, or rename”, it just forces “rename” on you. Or how you can't right click on a large group of files or a folder to find out how big it is (like you would do when you're wondering if your MP3 collection will fit on the small SSD). Or how it doesn't tell you that it won't fit when you try to copy it, it just keeps copying until you run out of space. Or how it doesn't tell you how LONG it will take to copy those files, just a tiny little progress bar in the lower left corner, no numerical percentage or ETA or remaining MB that one could do the math themselves with. Or how half of the SYSTEM settings are in a “Control panel”, and the other half are in the Chrome Browser settings panel, or how half the apps you download are apps that you can launch from the app launcher, and the other half are just Chrome Browser tabs/plugins, but there's no indication as to which is which…

I love the idea of Chrome OS as a concept, but there are a ton of little things that need to be addressed but aren't. And a few big things that shouldn't have happened from the start, like requiring online internet to use offline apps. They advertise the Chrome Book as being great for “web surfing, email, music, and VIDEOS”, but you can't watch your videos on the local harddrive on an airplane, because you don't have internet access.

I think every OS will have problems in its start, and I'd really like to see Chrome OS succeed, but right now, I feel incredibly guilty for recommending it to un-tech-savvy older people as an “easy” computer. It is not. In its current state, it is a bane of frustration that I wouldn't wish upon even a computer master.
kingpotnoodle
Surely you don't seriously expect updates to a product forever? Even when there is only a handful functional left in the world and the hardware is so old it doesn't even work in any useful way?

I might not expect it, but someone new to computers, who isn't very tech-savvy, who knows they are spending a lot of money, AND who happens to read the words “will always be up to date” in a Google-written advertisement… they might expect it.