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Chromebooks Have an “Auto Update Expiration” (theregister.co.uk)
43 points by amaccuish 54 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments



The article rightly points out how disaster it is due to lack of disclosure. You can't know how long you'll get updates until you buy it.

The article has this comment: "Example PCWorld have ACER 14 CB3-431 on sale for £179 its Auto EOS is June 2021 - so less than 2 years. Its also available on Amazon for the same price, neither highlight short support life, though at least on Amazon you can see its been for sale for more than three years, but again if you did not know of the Auto Update expiry you would be in the dark."

Can this product be legally sold in Europe and would someone have a warranty claim against it for lack of a maintenance for a critical security flaw?


The chromebook should still be updatable. There is no reason to withhold updates just because it reached some arbitrary date.

A 10 year old windows computer still receives updates. As long as the OS is updated.


My HP laptop is one year from its 6.5 years birthday party. Of course I upgraded it in ways that are probably precluded to a Chromebook, but is there really no way to install newer versions of ChromeOS and check if they work?


I flashed the rom to run linux before my last one expired (it was x86) as an alternate solution.

In theory, you can run chromiumOS directly if you disable signing and live with the warning beeps.. Perhaps it can be more easily done via neverware's builds, but I'm sure how realistic that is without installing PC style bios and running like a normal PC testing chromeOs, where that is possible.


I hope this article gets enough traction that Google changes its position. Even on the grounds of green technology.


Yeah, though I think its odd to focus on chromeOS having 6 years, when Android devices have 0-3 years from first manufacture.

Manufacturers of phones really seem to have set expectations so low for phones that it is uneconomic to make a product in a form with a history of greener expectations.


It depends on the model, some of them have a locked bootloader and it might be difficult to work around.


They should definitely make the expiration date more prominent. My Chromebook did work well for five years and I know this date would come, but the average consumer, buying an aftermarket Chromebook online might not expect this to happen.

I'll check if I can flash a different OS on mine and make it last a while longer and remain secure.


If you're running into EOL on your chromebook, strongly consider installing Ubuntu or GalliumOS on it to get a little more mileage. https://galliumos.org/ Gallium is Xubuntu + some extra chromebook specific fixes.

I started using Gallium after ChromeOS updates had slowed down my Chromebook enough to be pretty much unusable. It gave me an extra year or so of happiness with my chromebook before I moved on. But remembering how much I liked Linux on my laptop, and didn't want to get another chromebook I would have to drop ChromeOS from within a few years, I ended up back at a Dell laptop with Ubuntu on it.


One option to explore is CloudReady by Neverware [1], a third party supported Chrome variant. Their Home version is free and includes automatic security and feature updates. Disclaimer: I have no affiliation, and have not installed it yet.

1. https://cloudreadykb.neverware.com/s/article/Installing-Clou...


I run an EOL Chromebook Pixel (seriously google, your naming conventions are trash) as my nighttime netflix/youtube device. Pretty nifty for $180, though battery life is only a couple hours. The nicer Chromebooks can run real Linux either side by side or completely replacing ChromeOS, but I haven't really found a need because I have a separate, full-fat, desktop.


What is the official justification for this? Why are they unable to support these devices after a certain set of time?


Does it really matter what an official justification for planned obsolescence is?


It can be useful to know what specific brand(s) of corporate hypocrisy you're dealing with. And/or use it to properly ridicule the responsible parties.


Yes, I like to give everyone a chance to give a reason for their actions. I don't like to assume anything before I hear both sides.




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