Chrome OS and browser updates to be separated – This is big news
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If you own a Chromebook something you may be concerned about is what you’ll do when your laptop stops receiving automatic updates. Personally, I don’t think the Auto Update Policy for Chromebooks is that bad, not to the extent some people make out.
However, if this does concern you, it looks like you can stop having sleepless nights about this issue. I’ve touched on this before about how Google is looking into separating the operating system and the browser.
Well, according to Android Police this is something that is being actively worked on by the Chrome OS team. If this eventually makes it to the stable channel. It will mean you’ll no longer need to worry about your Chromebook not receiving updates.
At the moment a Chromebook can stop receiving updates after six years. For newer models manufactured in 2020, it’s eight years. This change will mean you can safely use your Chromebook to surf the internet indefinitely. Well, until the hardware eventually fails.
THE LIFESPAN OF A CHROMEBOOK
As I’ve just mentioned. The lastest Chromebooks receive automatic updates for eight years. This is an extremely long time to own a laptop. I’ve never owned a laptop for more than five years. However, I do accept Chrome OS is lightweight and extremely well coded.
This means a laptop running Chrome OS will work the same without deteriorating over time. So whether you’ve had your Chromebook for a couple of months or a couple of years. The Chromebook will continue to work as it did when you first bought it. This is a far cry from Microsoft, where your laptop deteriorates the more you use it.
So although I’d struggle to see anyone using a laptop running Microsoft Windows for longer than five years. It’s perfectly plausible to still be using a Chromebook after five years and for it to work perfectly well.
So if you like to get the most out of a laptop and not interested in updating to the latest model every few years. This news will be extremely welcome.
HOW IT CURRENTLY WORKS
At the moment the Chrome browser and the Chrome operating system are heavily integrated. It’s not possible to update the Operating system or browser individually.
One of the reasons why Chrome OS is so popular is because it’s extremely safe and fast. Google obviously wants to keep it this way, as we all know how frustrating it can be using a computer with a sluggish operating system.
It’s not possible for the Chrome OS team to continue providing regular improvements and support all of the devices that run Chrome OS. This is because technology and the hardware used in devices change over time.
If we wanted Chrome OS to support every device ever made. We would have to accept the operating system would eventually become much slower. Also, certain improvements would not be possible because older devices would not be compatible with the changes needed.
To avoid this problem Google introduced the Auto-Update Policy, which includes at Automatic Update Expiry date. This is great because it means the Chrome OS team can continue to offer us regular improvements to the operating system. It becomes a problem though for people still wanting to use older devices no longer receiving Chrome OS updates.
HOW IT WILL WORK IN THE FUTURE
The latest information suggests in the future Chrome OS and the Chrome Browser will work separately. We’ll most likely still see an integrated version for people who are receiving Chrome OS updates.
The difference will be a separate Chrome browser not linked to the operating system will be available as well. This means the Chrome browser will still receive vital security updates without the need for you to be using the latest Chrome OS version.
This is very similar to how you use Chrome on a Microsoft or Apple computer today. Chrome does not come as part of these operating systems. To use Chrome as your browser you need to download it from the internet.
We’re still at early stages but it does look as if we can finely move away from this issue about Chromebooks not being usable after the AUE date.
This is another great move by Google. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen so many improvements to Chrome OS. I just cannot wait to see how the Chromebook continues to develop.