Chrome OS laptops and notebooks are very popular in the education market, and to help with adoption, Google uses a fairly seamless and unintrusive update process. However, automatic updates for Chrome OS don't last forever, so for schools that don't update their hardware often, it can be easy to be out of date after a few years. Today, though, Google announced that it's making it easier to stay current for longer with extended support for automatic updates.
Chromebook updates are regulated by Google's Automatic Update policy, and when Chrome OS first showed up, devices came with just three years of automatic updates included. Over time, Google has increased that to six years and now, that will go up to eight years.
This change only applies to new devices coming out in 2020, so unless you happen to get an extension later on, existing devices won't be affected. However, for schools updating their equipment this year, this should be pretty good news. Devices like the new Lenovo 500e and the recently-announced Acer Chromebook 712 will get automatic updates until June 2028, for example.
While the change should hold true for anyone who buys the devices, the announcement is being made at BETT in London and aimed at educators. In that vein, Google is also adding new improvements to the Admin Console, with faster load times and new features like a Devices page that lets IT admins see the automatic update end date for devices in the organization. To support this extended update period and new features, Google is increasing the price of the Chrome Education Upgrade program from $30 to $38.
Google has made many other announcements at BETT, including updates to the Chromebook App Hub, which now has search filters and more apps, plus new classroom features like originality reports and Search integration in grading tools so teachers can easily check if the work is plagiarized.