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Chromebook bug mistakenly triggered end-of-life warning

By Shawn Knight · 12 replies
Sep 10, 2019
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  1. Chromebooks, like most other platforms that run major operating systems, enjoy automatically managed updates. This means that Google will automatically update Chrome OS on your device… that is, until it reaches its Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date. That’s right, Chromebooks have an expiration date.

    A recent bug in the Canary and Dev builds of Chrome OS accidentally triggered this warning when rebooting, regardless of the platform’s age. The bug has already been patched and fortunately, not many people experienced it as it was limited to the Canary and Dev builds.

    The snafu does remind us about the AUE date, however, and that is important. To check the AUE date of your Chromebook, simply grab its model number and look for it over on Google’s AUE list.

    Note that a device’s End of Sale date is controlled by the manufacturer and is not directly related to a system’s AUE date. As such, it’s important to check the AUE date before buying a new Chromebook.

    As Ars Technica highlights, those with a Chromebook near the end of its update cycle do still have a few options. You could install Linux as a fully bootable OS using chrx or replace Chrome OS with an alternate version like the Home Edition of Neverware CloudReady.

    Masthead credit: Chromebook by Cory A Ulrich

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,710   +4,047

    I knew I made the right decision when I decided to buy the Samsung Tab A instead of the Chrome book!
  3. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Addict Posts: 148   +121

    I bet that's news to many Chromebook owners, just like me.

    Once this planned obsolescence happens, it's back to Windows. Google and Chromebook can stuff it.
    FPSChris likes this.
  4. Explodingzebras

    Explodingzebras TS Rookie

    Not really, did you read beyond the clickbait headline? It only affected Canary and dev channels. And Chromebooks are supported a lot longer than Samsung supports their Android devices!
  5. Mr Majestyk

    Mr Majestyk TS Addict Posts: 180   +136

    Dodged a bullet there. Google contest: 1st prize a Chromebook. 2nd prize 2 Chromebooks.
    Dimitrios likes this.
  6. whatsnext

    whatsnext TS Rookie

    "The search giant even makes an effort to notify users six months in advance of the expiration date to give buyers time to plan on purchasing a newer device."

    And yet my 20 years old windows 95 is still humming along.
    Odium likes this.
  7. jpuroila

    jpuroila TS Enthusiast Posts: 80   +45

    And if you had a 20-years-old Chromebook it would still work, it just wouldn't receive updates(just like your Windows 95 doesn't).

    I hate google as much as the next guy, but complaining about devices not getting indefinite software support is rather silly.
    Dosahka, brucek and Explodingzebras like this.
  8. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +30

    I think you're missing the point.
    It sounds like ALL Chromebooks have a predetermined Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, which I'm sure many of us didn't know.
    An OS update had a bug in it and was ONLY sent to the Canary and Dev builds that gave their AUE warning years early and thus letting the cat out of the bag that ALL Chromebooks have an Update Expiration date.

    So if an OS isn't being updated anymore, that's kinda ok as we can't really expect them to be updated forever.
    However, the REAL QUESTION that is NOT BEING ANSWERED by this article is:
    IF your Chromebook reaches its AUE date, WILL THE CHROMEBOOK STILL WORK even if updates stop?

    I WOULD EXPECT (no proof yet) that Windows 7 and other tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (which I own) TO STILL WORK when it's no longer being updated, but IF the Chromebooks STOP WORKING when AUE is reached, then Google would be royally ticking off their customers. This type of action would be totally unacceptable on other things we buy like CARS, TVs, etc. When I buy electronic things, I expect them to work until they break, even if it receives no current updates.

    When I went to Google's AUE policy page the article had a link to, I discovered the following statements:
    - Chrome device models that have not reached their AUE date will continue to receive OS updates and FUNCTION with the business and education management service.

    - Enrolled Chrome devices that have reached their AUE date will no longer receive technical support from Google. (This is fine, but just be aware)

    - Business and education customers using devices that have passed their AUE date should not expect that they can manage their devices as expected using the Google Admin console or leverage new management features released. (It's unclear, to me at least, what this really means. Will the Chromebook still work???)
  9. Explodingzebras

    Explodingzebras TS Rookie

    You're acting like this was some sort of secret, it's been known for years that they were supported for around 5 or 6 years. And yes it will still work after it stops getting support, it just won't get more security updates, that's all.
  10. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 531   +393

    Do you also rock out a 1980's cell phone from that movie ( WALL STREET ) with Michael Douglas?
  11. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,818   +1,182

    To me this was news, however, considering it's a cheap device switching every couple of years for the new mighty and best doesn't sound THAT bad.

    If it helps with the shock factor, imagine yourself using the same tablet you bought 5-6 years ago. Yes you can, but unless you got a high end model, I don't think it's going to be that useful for today's standards and specs, heck even entry level tablets today struggle unless it's for media consumption.
  12. Ravalo

    Ravalo TS Member Posts: 89   +24

    My hp mini 110 laptop could run the latest update of windows 10 and was perfectly usable for youtube and web browsing in 2019

    The keyword being “could” because I accidentally left the laptop on my brother’s xbox one so the laptop battery stopped working once my brother turned on the xbox and started playing fortnite

    I would’ve gotten 100$ out of it ;-;
  13. Dosahka

    Dosahka TS Addict Posts: 168   +64

    Like my users crying out for an iPhone 5 not getting iOS 13 and when telling them the same as you and pointing out that it got 6 years of update, which if far more than any brand's update cycle. Next day they show up with the latest iPhone XR/XS/XSM saying: this new iOS is amazing (still on 12.4.1).
    They have enough to get by with their phones, but not enough to understand that 5-6 years is enough for a device to be obsolete and getting slow by the extra features and the fact that the phone won't be unusable...

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