Google extends updates for Chromebooks, Chrome OS in education, ups prices

A Chromebook bought in 2020 will have support and updates extending into 2028. Google also updated its admin console and added creative apps.

Pixelbook Go hands-on: Google's refined take on the Chromebook platform ZDNet's Matt Miller explains that, in the past, Google-branded Chromebooks were for those willing to pay a premium for a high quality experience. The Pixelbook Go still offers a premium Google-designed experience, but at a lower-entry price. Read more: https://zd.net/2NkGltq

Google said it is extending support and updates for its Chrome OS Automatic Update program for education to up to 8 years and raising the price for its Chrome Education Upgrade program.

The Chrome OS Automatic Update (AUE) policy began with 3 years of automatic updates, but Google extended it over time. For devices launching in 2020 and beyond AUE will cover an 8-year span. Google outlined the updates at the Bett UK education conference.

For instance, the Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet and Acer Chromebook 712 will receive automatic updates until June 2028. Google also said that its Google Admin Console has been updated with more controls.

Given those updates to the program, Google said it is raising the list price of the Chrome Education Upgrade, a one-time license for the life of the device that unlocks commercial features,  provides fleet management support and provides 24/7 support, from $30 to $38.

Education is a key industry for Google's Chromebook effort. Chromebooks have also been gaining traction in the enterprise too as Dell and HP released more support and management options. Microsoft announced new devices for education last week

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Google

The extended upgrade program and price increase is one of a bevy of upgrades from Google. 

Other items include:

  • Google Admin Console improvements with 10 times faster page loads and improved search. There's also a devices page where AUE dates are listed. App management for users, browsers, guests and kiosks are also available.
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    Google
  • New devices such as the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214, Lenovo 500e Chromebook and Lenovo Chromebook 10e tablet launched.
  • An update to the catalog of creativity apps for Chromebooks for more creatives, teachers, parents and students. The collection of 6 creativity apps includes WeVideo for movies and reports, Book Creator for stories and comics, Infinite Painter for artwork, Squid for notes and diagrams, Soundtrap for podcasts and music and Explain Everything for screencasts and presentations. The apps can be licensed through the Google Admin Console.
  • New updates for the Chromebook App Hub, which now has more than 270 apps.
  • General availability for rubrics and originality reports in Google Classroom.  

Also: How Apple, Google, and Microsoft stack up in education technology: Hardware, software, and deployment    

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