Many Chromebook owners had an unpleasant surprise when their laptops wrongly
reported that they had received their final security update, and that it was time to upgrade to a newer device.
As 9to5Google reports, the message was the result of a bug in the Canary and Developer builds of ChromeOS, and was swiftly fixed, but not before sending a few pulses racing at the prospect of an premature hardware upgrade (in some cases years early).
The Canary and Developer builds of ChromeOS give developers and early adopters the opportunity to receive rapid updates and experiment with new features before they appear in the Stable build that's released to all users. The drawback of these early releases is that they're less stable and often contain bugs – though the results aren't usually so dramatic.
The final countdown
Google has now released an update for the Canary channel that will prevent the warning appearing prematurely. This update should roll out over the next couple of days. Anyone using the Developer build may have to wait about a week, as this channel receives updates less frequently.
If you're not using either preview build, then sadly any warning messages may mean that your Chromebook really is coming to the end of its life. If you're not sure, Google has published a list of every Chromebook ever released, complete with expected end of life dates, so you can check when yours will get its final update.