Chromebook users are looking at a much longer lifespan from their devices thanks to the newest initiative from the developers at Google. The new project, dubbed Lacros, aims to break Chrome away from Chrome OS, making it possible to update your browser even if the Chromebook has reached its auto-update expiration (AUE).
At the moment, the current edition of Chrome provided to Chrome OS users receives updates in tandem with the OS. Once the device reaches AUE, the Chrome browser stops receiving updates, too.
Lacros is designed to separate the Chrome browser from Chrome OS. The name stands for Linux And Chrome OS—which is fitting as the team essentially adapted the Linux version of Chrome for the new package.
This update is well-timed, as many schools and individuals working from home have turned to Chromebooks as remote workstations. It would allow many users to continue using their Chromebooks online without the security vulnerabilities that come with an out-of-date browser.
The Chromebook market is also beset by a looming shortage, exacerbated by pandemic-spurred shortages, right as schools come back in session. At the moment, no release information for the new Lacros initiative has been announced, so it likely won't arrive in time to blunt the blow of the ongoing shortage. You can, however, read more about the Lacros project in-depth on this Chromium git repository.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.