Chromebooks are increasingly becoming popular, particularly in the U.S. market where they accounted for a major chunk of notebook sales last year. Google, the company that makes the OS powering them, is making changes along the way to make these cloud-based OS powered notebooks even more attractive to prospective buyers. Google has updated its End of Life policy for Chromebooks and has extended software support by one year. All Chromebooks will now get software support for five years.
Its imperative to understand exactly how the support time is counted. The day a new Chrome OS powered device hits the market is the day its five year software support cycle beings. For example if a Chromebook was launched in January 2014 the official support from Google will continue until January 2019 at the very least.
The policy change isn’t limited to new devices. Many Chrome OS powered devices that are already in the market get an additional year of support. For example the Lenovo X131e Chromebook had official support until February 2017 but will now be supported until at least February 2018.
For individual users this might not be that big of a change. Someone who buys a $200 notebook will probably not be using it after five years. The real advantage is for businesses, schools as well as commercial and non-profit organizations. Google has been trying to push Chromebooks in that space as alternatives to conventional notebooks and they would certainly appreciate the extra year of software support.