May 26, 2014

How long is the support lifecycle for Chrome OS?

Microsoft has a 10 yeal support lifecycle for Windows, as XP users have more or less learned at this point. Obviously this is an important consideration when making purchases for a business, and I've been considering trying out a few Chromebooks as a less expensive alternative to Windows Laptops for some employees that don't really need a "full function" PC. How long is the support lifecycle for Chrome OS? 


Google says that they will support Chrome for at least 5 years after the launch date of the applicable hardware. Whether this means in 5 years and 1 day support will end or that they will continue to support it for 10 is up for debate, but they are not obligated to go beyond 5 years under what they call their "End of Life Policy." This seems pretty short to me, and it will probably factor into some purchasing decisions and cost them sales. 


Google's End of Life Policy: https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/eol.html


This is a relatively new policy as well. I received notification from Google about this update in policy on the 15th of May, and then it was still "Upcoming."  http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/eol.html is the present stated EoL's for the current ChromeOS Devices.  This primarily effects Businesses and Schools which have a refresh cycle of 3-5 years on traditional Desktops.  


At our school district, we are looking at leasing options for Chrome devices.  With the Fair Market Value buyout option on the leasing plans, we pay overall less per device, stretch the payments out over time and get new devices every 3 years.  For an initial principle of  $121,700 we setup a fair FMV buyout lease for $37,770 a year, which saves us a little more than $8,000 over the 3 years, compared to purchasing the devices and owning obsolete/unsupported machines and having to pay to recycle them.



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