Google wants its customers to be able to use Chromebook devices for a long time, and is announcing that from now on all Chromebooks will get 10 years of updates. This is more than any other operating system commits to today, the company claims.
The 10 year update period will begin automatically in 2024 for all Chromebooks released after 2021. For those purchased before 2021, customers will be able to opt-in to 10 years of updates if they choose.
Google will also work with the manufacturers of all the components in the laptops — such as the processor or Wi-Fi adapter — to ensure they also still work properly in this period.
“As a preventative cost-savings measure, automatic updates combined with existing layers of security have protected Chrome from having any reported ransomware attack. With all these updates, we’re committed to keeping Chromebooks universally accessible, helpful and secure — and helping you safely learn and work on them for years to come,” Prajakta Gudadhe and
Ashwini Varma, senior directors of engineering for ChromeOS at Google, wrote in a blog post.
According to Google, this announcement ties in with the company’s larger sustainability initiatives, as a longer update period extends the lifespan of the devices. Chromebooks are desirable for many people and groups, especially K-12 schools, because of their lower price tags. The company wants them to be not just inexpensive, but also a sustainable choice, which is why they are made out of responsible and recycled materials and why Google is helping them last longer before needing to be replaced.
In the same announcement, the company highlighted its partnerships with Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo to prioritize sustainability in the build process. Together they have produced Chromebooks that use ocean-bound plastics, PCR materials, recyclable packages, and a low carbon emission manufacturing process.
The company has also put effort into making the devices more energy-efficient, adding features like adaptive charging and battery saver mode.
Google also has a robust repair program, and is released updated to improve repairs. Authorized repair centers are now available to fix Chromebooks without needing a physical USB key, which cuts down on repair time by 50%, according to the company. And once a device reaches the end of its life, Google also has a recycling and reselling program where devices can be turned in.