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Lacros Will Separate The Chrome Browser From Chromebooks Soon Enough

Boxed Chromebook Logo DG AH 2020
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Google’s “Lacros,” an acronym of Linux and Chrome OS, will be completed sooner than later for Chromebooks, based on a newly spotted code in the relevant repositories. In fact, a flag will apparently be added soon that implements the change when activated. What this means for end-users, of course, is that Chrome as a browser and Chromebooks operating systems will soon be separate.

What does the new code say and what impact would separating Chrome as Lacros from Chrome OS have?

Summarily, separating out the Chrome browser — as Lacros — from Chrome OS on Chromebooks has the potential to deliver big improvements across the board. Not only would the browser not need to be updated every time Chrome OS is — and vice versa. The browser receiving an update wouldn’t also force updates to Chrome OS.

In a nutshell, that means that users would be able to receive updates outside of the browser updates and neither would be dependant on the other. So Chromebooks could, theoretically, have much longer lifespans than even the current average. Which, for the record, is up to 8-years at the longest. Most Chromebooks available today will receive between 5-years and 6-years. And older devices could see even less.

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The new code points to an experimental flag for testing. It sets the flag to work only when the Lacros browser is activated. And aims to eventually make the new version of Chrome the default version.

When will this arrive?

Now, the flag is not already in place for users to access. That’s true even on the most beta of Channels, the Chrome Canary Channel. So finalization of the flag is likely still quite a ways away. And, once the flag is finalized, it will probably take months more of testing to ensure stability before end-users start seeing the change. Google will undoubtedly make an announcement once it’s ready to provide more details.