What happens to a Chromebook (or any ChromeOS device for that matter) when it reaches its software update end-of-life? That question was effectively answered this week at a Questions and Answers session with Google at a celebration of one full decade of Chrome OS. It was Chrome OS director of product management Alexander Kuscher who answered the question with a mention of “working under the hood.”
The Chrome OS developers were working to “make sure that the browser on Chrome OS was always up-to-date”, suggested Kuscher, via Chrome Unboxed. It’s suggested in that Chrome Unboxed report that Kuscher is likely referring to LaCrOs, an effort to separate the workings of the Chrome web browser from Chrome OS to allow effectively un-ending updates to the browser forevermore.
If the browser can be updated forever, regardless of what’s happening with the operating system, even the oldest of Chromebook machines could remain marginally useful through the future. Without this effort, Chromebooks become like mobile phones, useless after a certain period of time due to their rapidly aging software.
Above you’ll also see a Twitter tweet from Sundar Pichai about the CR-48, the first Chromebook. He suggests that it “might be time to update it to the latest version of the Chrome.” Given the smily face that comes next, it could just mean Pichai is being silly, but it could just as easily mean that they’ll soon be capable of delivering a new Chrome (web browser) update to this, the original Chromebook.
If the original Chromebook’s Chrome web browser can get an update now, there should be little to no reason why the rest of the Chromebook universe shouldn’t also see an update. Imagine being able to pull that decade-old Chromebook of yours out of the closet to find a software update that makes the device usably quick again – that’d be neat!