Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Chromebooks Will Get 10 Years of Automatic Updates

Prajakta Gudadhe and Ashwini Varma (via Hacker News):

Security is our number one priority. Chromebooks get automatic updates every four weeks that make your laptop more secure and help it last longer. And starting next year, we’re extending those automatic updates so your Chromebook gets enhanced security, stability and features for 10 years after the platform was released.


Starting in 2024, if you have Chromebooks that were released from 2021 onwards, you’ll automatically get 10 years of updates. For Chromebooks released before 2021 and already in use, users and IT admins will have the option to extend automatic updates to 10 years from the platform’s release (after they receive their last automatic update).


Our new repair flows allow authorized repair centers and school technicians to repair Chromebooks without a physical USB key. This reduces the time required for software repairs by over 50% and limits time away from the classroom.


Chromebooks include lower upfront costs than other devices: a 55% lower device cost and a 57% lower cost of operations. Over three years, Chromebooks save more than $800 in operating costs per device compared to others.

Lucas Gutterman:

Many schools are buying way more laptops than they used to, to ensure that every student has a device to use in class and at home. It would be one thing if kids could use the same laptop for their entire education. But currently, Chromebooks have a built-in “death date.” After as few as four years, Google stops updating the software – rendering the laptop useless.

To stop this Chromebook Churn, over 10,000 supports signed a petition, joining a coalition of nonprofits, parents and teachers asking Google for longer-lasting laptops. Thursday’s announcement is a victory for all of us. Once laptops have a lifespan of 10 years, fewer will “expire” and need to be disposed of.

Meanwhile, macOS Sonoma drops support for Macs that Apple was selling in 20182019.


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Now that Google has announced a 10-year support window for their laptops, I wonder if people will starting asking why Google (or Apple) can’t support their phones for that long.

My hope is that Apple will greatly extend their support timeframe for Macs once only ARM models are supported.

Well, that is a game changer for schools and school IT. The other half of this is Chromebook being shitty computers. If only there were another player with deep pockets that would make a durable laptop with absurd battery life and give it 10 years of updates. Too bad no such company exists that also cares about education. Yes siree, too bad.

Apple has all the ingredients in iPadOS and Apple silicon to make a kick ass rigged education laptop with super low management costs, if they chose to.

But they don’t choose to, and I get it from a business point of view. Still sad.

No. Apple are far behind on the virtual classroom front.

It's not just the hardware and price that schools take into consideration when they buy computers.

I also wouldn't want my children to learn on a device without mouse support, so to me iPads sounds like a horrible idea.

I think the lack of proper file management is bad enough on Chromebooks, but at least they can muck about with extensions and learn a bit about the freedom of computing on that.

With an iPad? Nope.

"Chromebooks Will Get 10 Years of Automatic Updates".

That should be by law for all devices. And not allowing to do all-in-one desktop computers that render great displays useless after six years, as now Apple iMacs are. Displays last for much longer than CPU. Even 20, 30 or more years. We are destroying planet Earth, the only place with life in the Universe, with all that programmed obsolescence and waste, and it seems that it does not matter…

> Meanwhile, macOS Sonoma drops support for Macs that Apple was selling in 2019.

And I hate them for this. I would understand if they need to disable some of the fancier features for older Macs. But dropping support entirely so early is a nasty move.

> And I hate them for this. I would understand if they need to disable some of the fancier features for older Macs. But dropping support entirely so early is a nasty move.

No less nasty than not letting 2011 iMac (the last models with slotted GPUs and support for 3 drives) go past High Sierra because of updates to Metal. The 2013 iMac I am typing on right now is perfectly capable of running Ventura without hacks—OpenCore has proven this—yet it was cut off at Catalina ... no Big Sur at all, not even the beta. It's all bullshit and broken trust now. How long will M1s get support? Recent moves say the last OS update will be Mac OS 15 ... two years from now.

I'm writing this on a 2017 iMac 5K which was sold by Apple until March 2019, when they introduced the first Mac with the T2 SOC. If you bought the 2017 iMac in 2019, that means you only got four years worth of updates.

Yes, I know it will still receive selected security fixes for two more years.

Meanwhile, my Raspberry Pi 4 from 2019 will likely be supported for years to come.

Apple is not in the cheap hardware business. Campaigns when it appears to address it are to apply pressure to competitors and upsell to who can afford something different.

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