How secure is a Chromebook after it stops getting Chrome OS updates? It still works but the OS and browser can’t be patched. Two strategies may change that.
Chrome OS 86 updates started to arrive on Chromebooks, then stopped and now they’re back. It’s been a wild two weeks for the Stable Channel, but it looks like we’re back on track.
In mid-October, Google began updating Chromebooks to the Chrome OS 86 Stable Channel. Now most devices show that Chrome OS 85 is the most recent, indicating a temporary pull-back of the latest software.
Google has largely addressed the oft-mentioned “built-in obsolescence” and return on investment arguments against Chromebooks by announcing 8 years of automatic Chrome OS updates for all new devices.
It’s great that Chromebooks will start to show the date when their Chrome OS software support will end but that only helps existing Chromebook owners. Here’s what needs to happen to help Chromebook buyers.
The AUE, or automatic update expiration, of many Chromebooks has been extended anywhere from six-months to two-years. Check the list to see how much longer you’ll get new Chrome OS features and patches.
Got an old Chromebook that’s passed its AUE, or automatic update expiration date? Consider giving CloudReady a try: The Chromium OS-based platform may work on your old device and bring you security updates long after Google stops providing them.
Automatic Chromebook updates are a great thing, until they’re not, as shown by the recent issues with Chrome OS 75. Maybe it’s time for users to have a little more control around the update process, similar to how GSuite managed devices have.