the secret chromebook end of life policy

My mother is a happy Chromebook user. I’m a less than a happy Chromebook purchaser at the moment. Why you ask? Here’s my history

  • 2012 – first laptop. This was a second generation model (the first ever Chromebooks were in 2011. I waited a year to see if they would have legs. It end of life’d for security updates earlier this year (or 2018; I forget). Not bad.
  • 2014 – The first Chromebooks with built in 4G were released. I thought this would be good as she’d have 4G. It was. At first. Then we realized you have to be on wifi to get updates so I gave her an AT&T wifi hotspot instead. This computer hit end of life for updates this year. Luckily, it happened after the computer was in my possession and not hers. She wanted to replace it because computers age. No problem. Five years is a good amount of time for an inexpensive device.
  • 2019 – I picked the Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-532). It end of life’s in August 2021. That means we only have two years before that machine can no longer get updates.
  • 2021 – I get to involuntary bug a new Chromebook.

I learned today that Google has an automatic end of life policy. It says you can’t get updates after 6.5 years from when the hardware is first released. So I only get two years of updates because the model of computer has existed for four years. I didn’t know this when I bought the machine. If I did, I would have sat there looking up the end of life dates for every model at Best Buy.

Granted the computer only costs $240. But there is a cost to setting up a new computer when you don’t live near it. One that I’d like to minimize.

Oh and the reason I was looking at the in the first place? Amazon Music is no longer working properly. I can’t tell yet if it is the war Amazon and Google are having or something more mundane.

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