Every time there's a wave of new devices, a lot of us are anxious to see whether or not the older devices will be updated to the latest and greatest version of Android. In particular, a lot of folks out there will be happy to get a hold of the 4.2 update for the Nexus S and the Motorola XOOM, devices that are still in use by a great many. The biggest tell of whether or not a Nexus or Google Experience Device is going to be updated to the latest is how it fares as a build target in the AOSP. Today, after the debacle of sales going live for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, Google starting to push Android 4.2 to the Android Open Source Project.
As Jean-Baptiste Queru pushed the code he had a few notes to pass on and one of them related to the Nexus S and the XOOM in that there was no 4.2 trunk for them and that "There is no support for 4.2 on Nexus S and Xoom. Those devices should continue using 4.1.2." For me, this seems like the death knell for the device as when the AOSP stops supporting something then updates will surely stop coming as well.
While Android 4.2 is only a maintenance release of Jelly Bean it does come with some added features and it looks like it's going to be the cut off point for the Nexus S and the Motorola XOOM. In the grand scheme of things, both devices have done pretty well in the Android update stakes, the Nexus S has gone from 2.3 > 4.0.3 > 4.1.2 so that's a lifespan of three versions and 2 major updates. As for the XOOM it went through 3.0 > 3.1 > 3.2 > 4.0.3 > 4.1.2 so it's done a little better than the Nexus S but realistically that's another 2 major updates. It seems that this is becoming the norm for devices supported by Google.
It's sure going to be interesting to see if the Galaxy Nexus is going to be up-to-date when it comes to Android 5.0 or whatever else the next version is going to be.