Google Addresses the Future of Chromebooks
In a short time, Google's Chromebook notebooks have become a mainstay for school districts needing an inexpensive notebook solution.
This time last year, the devices became the top-selling K–12 device. This spike in sales was paired with the rapid expansion of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and the adoption of Classroom, one of Google's management apps. In November, Google announced that 50 million teachers and students were using GAFE, along with 10 million Chromebooks.
While times change and technology evolves, Google recently set the record straight on the future of Chrome OS — the cloud-based operating system that powers Chromebooks — amid rumors that it would merge with the company's Android mobile division. In short, Google wants Chromebook users to know that Chrome OS isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
"Over the last few days, there’s been some confusion about the future of Chrome OS and Chromebooks based on speculation that Chrome OS will be folded into Android. While we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS," according to a blog post by Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast.
Lockheimer’s post doesn’t preclude new innovations in cross-platform compatibility between Android and Chrome OS devices, including some of the best-selling Android apps running on Chromebooks. Furthermore, Lockheimer went on to describe plans for the platform, including improved performance and a refreshed media player.
"With our regular six-week software cycle and guaranteed auto-updates for five years, Chromebooks keep getting better over time," he wrote.
Users still skeptical about Chromebook’s future can peek at Google's End of Life policy for the devices, which details support for Chrome OS–powered devices until 2020.