End of life for the ASUS Chromebit, originally released in November 2015, has been one of ASUS’ most popular and cost effective Chrome OS devices to date, and one of our favorite entry level devices to display content with Arreya. The powerful device in a small form factor has been a great way to easily deploy signage in many different markets. Like every platform, the Chromebit hasn’t been free from all issues, and it’s time we start to say goodbye.

asus chromebit issueIn order to provide the highest level of security and stability Google guarantees automatic Chrome OS and platform updates for Chrome devices for at least 5 years after the release date of the model. As devices age, the hardware becomes unable to support newer software and firmware that keep the devices secure and allow Chrome to take full advantage of the hardware’s capabilities. After the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) in November 2020, the device will no longer receive automatic updates.

Below we will answer a few common questions about what will happen after the AUE date and what are your options.

Will my Chromebits stop working now?

No. Your Chromebits will not suddenly stop working after November 2020. However, they will not receive any auto updates after this time. This means new features, and potential security updates may not be applied to your devices.

Will my Chromebits stop working in the future?

Maybe. The hardware itself will continue to function, it can be used as a computer, to browse the internet, and other common tasks. However, Google will likely release an update in the future that will prevent Arreya from running properly on the device. This could be weeks, months, or even years after the November 2020 expiration.

The ASUS Chromebit End of Life will give you issues. It should be expected that you will run into some issue. Whether it’s something as simple as a newer keyboard not being supported, to Arreya displaying a font incorrectly, to even failing to completely load your content, something is likely to break over time.

Does Google make exceptions to the expiration policy?

Sometimes. Major security issues, or updates that are automatically rolled down to older platforms, sometimes are merged and an update is released. This is not guaranteed by Google, but has happened in the past with major security updates.

What should I do with my Chromebits?

AOPEN Chromebox MINIEach situation is different; budget, uptime concerns, and form factor will change the best method and timeframe for upgrading devices. We’re glad to help look at each individual case and help our customers figure out what’s best for them.

The easiest way to ensure there’s no downtime is to replace the Chromebits with a newer device like the Aopen Chromebox Commercial Mini. It has similar processing power to the Chromebit, and is still a fairly small form factor, with nice features like a hardened case and extended wireless antennas for better reception.

As a convenience, Arreya sells devices in our store at arreya.com/store, and devices purchased through us are fully setup and ready to plug in once you receive them.

Is ASUS releasing something new in the Google Chrome hardware family?

Arreya Digital Signage Suite is a partner with ASUS, one of the leaders in computer hardware, and we have continued discussions with ASUS about their upcoming releases.  They are working on new Chrome devices for digital signage and ASUS should be announcing within the next year. As always, Arreya will do extensive testing before offering any new devices.

Do I need to purchase new Chrome Enterprise licenses?

Annual licenses can be transferred to new devices. You will need to deprovision your old ones, and select the appropriate option during deprovisioning to make sure the license is available for your new device.

Perpetual licenses are purchased for the life of the device and do not transfer to different types of devices.

Are there any incentives or discounts to replace devices?

Depending on the manufacturer and quantity of devices you are replacing, there are discounts and quantity cuts available. Please contact us for more information about this.

More information can be found about Chrome device end of life and Google’s Auto Update Expiration policy at https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366