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Chromebooks have a Set Expiry Date

I suppose we should be used to this sort of thing by now. Windows 7 is essentially ‘expiring’ next year, in that Microsoft is discontinuing support. And if you have an old iPhone or iPad, like me, you will know that at some point you will reach the very last IOS update that your device will support, and the latest apps will be out of your reach. However, we’re not really used to such blatant planned obsolescence. It’s more something we love to accuse the big tech companies of doing; we don’t expect them to admit to it. I wonder how many Chromebook Users even know about this:

6.5 years after your Chromebook purchase, support will be discontinued and you will be advised to purchase a brand new one. 

Now you can try to continue using it of course, but you won’t be getting anymore security updates, and the “constantly evolving services such as Gmail will eventually stop working entirely” ARS Technica

You can’t upgrade a Chromebook, they’re not designed to be opened up to have their hardware repaired or replaced. The above article from ARS Technica suggests that you could install a Linux Operating System instead but this is probably beyond the average Chromebook User.

This kind of approach is a rather sad indictment on the environmental policies of Google. At least when Microsoft released Windows 10 they provided a period of time during which Users could upgrade for free. Many did not unfortunately and are now largely replacing their laptops and PCs because the upgrade is prohibitively expensive. And this is a good lesson for the future I suppose – when offered a free upgrade, take it. Maybe not right away; it’s always a good plan to avoid being the guinea pig. My advice, wait for a few months if you can while they iron out the bugs, but then get the upgrade. And if you don’t like the idea of being told when your perfectly functional device must be replaced then don’t buy a Chromebook.