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Announcement: CloudReady Device Support Policies

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Announcement: CloudReady Device Support Policies

Today we're announcing two new policies to clarify CloudReady's support for certified models as they age. You can read about the details of each individual policy via the links below, and read further in this post to get a better understanding of how and why we developed these new policies.



Policy 1

32bit CloudReady images will no longer be offered or supported starting in August of 2019.

Read the policy

Policy 2

As of today, certified models now show a date when their official CloudReady support will end, with the nearest date being August of 2020. Going forward, all certified models will have a support lifetime of 13 years after their OEM release date.

Read the policy


Reasons for These Changes

As a company, we believe in keeping good hardware running for longer, and for that reason retiring features or ending support for devices is always difficult. However, we have learned from our customers that reliability and predictability are just as crucial to a strong IT strategy as longevity and savings. So as we work with our customers, we are hearing more and more about how CloudReady can be a stabilizing factor in the their 2, 3, or even 5-year technology plans. In addition to shipping a reliable operating system, it's become clear to us that we also owe it to customers to provide the tools and information to anticipate the inevitable retirement of hardware, making it part of their plan, instead of a potentially disruptive surprise.

There is inherent conflict in CloudReady's mix of modern user experience, elite security, and deep legacy hardware support. Regardless of how deftly these tensions are navigated, technology's inexorable progress will eventually generate problems if you combine the newest features on the oldest hardware. We intend CloudReady's new hardware support policies, more than anything else, as a reflection of that technical reality and a blueprint for how we intend to continue handling it alongside you, our customers and users.

Hardware-specific bugs are unpredictable. Until the day they first appear, devices may perform perfectly, creating a dangerous balancing act between keeping your oldest devices usefully-deployed and avoiding the nasty surprises that can derail your IT plans. These new policies put Neverware's expertise to work on that problem for you, offering retirement timelines for your aging CloudReady devices that minimize risk without wasting good years.

Background for Policy 1: 32bit Builds

In the case of 32bit CloudReady, we see a short-term concern and want to act quickly to minimize the risk for CloudReady devices. Google doesn’t offer any 32bit Chromebooks, and has ceased support for the Chrome browser on 32bit Linux as well. With Google, and many other key Linux contributors, dropping the architecture, many tools and open-source components are falling into disrepair, making 32bit-only support increasingly challenging and bug-prone. As we incorporate support for better security and more Chrome OS features, we are setting an ambitious timeline of August 2019 for migrating all customers off of 32bit builds so they can benefit from all of CloudReady’s ongoing improvements.


Background for Policy 2: Models Older than 13 Years

For other aging hardware on CloudReady's certified list, we've identified a timeline that applies to every certified device. Under this policy, you can confidently keep devices deployed for 13 years from their original OEM release date. When that time is up, these devices will become just like other non-certified models, receiving the same regular updates, but with no guarantee of support.

When we first started selling CloudReady, no one we spoke to had active devices that were this old. At the time, we found that devices from the 2004-2005 era or earlier were impossible to use with CloudReady due to changes in support for a CPU feature called PAE. Since PAE was deeply ingrained in Chromium OS’s security model, we learned that this would represent a fundamental limit for supported devices.

While no two issues are exactly alike, we think this background on PAE is a good demonstration of the types of generational changes that, over time, will inevitably crop up and force older hardware to be retired. With all the info and experience available to us today, 13 years feels like a timeline that will comfortably avoid unexpected problems, but still keep devices deployed for many years beyond what was possible before CloudReady.


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CloudReady USB Maker Updates

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CloudReady USB Maker Updates

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We’ve released a new version of the CloudReady USB Maker today. The new version has a couple of helpful features and some fixes for an improved user experience.

Release Notes

  • Format CloudReady USB installers after done installing: Unlike the default Windows format feature, this new Welcome screen option preserves the storage capacity of the USB device.

  • Removal of USB device format prompt: Windows will no longer prompt users to format the device after USB installer creation.

  • Fixed: When running the USB maker a second time, "What's next?" text incorrectly displays during the USB installer creation step.

About the CloudReady USB Maker

The CloudReady USB Maker is a Windows application (.exe) that you can download directly from Neverware to guide you through the process of creating a CloudReady USB installer.

Current customers, or those with a trial of CloudReady, can get the USB Maker by logging in to my.neverware.com and visiting their Downloads tab.

Users of the Home Edition can find the latest version here.

As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome!

Have questions at Home? Visit the forums!

Need help at school or work? Support's here to help. 

Need help installing?

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Introducing the CloudReady Referral Program

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Introducing the CloudReady Referral Program

 

Hi CloudReady fans!

Today, we’re very happy to share with you an exciting new initiative: the launch of our CloudReady referral program.

Since we brought CloudReady to market in 2015, more than 1300 schools and school districts have used CloudReady to transform their existing devices into secure, fast, and easy-to-manage machines that deliver the Chromebook experience—efficiently and affordably.

We know, however, that 1300+ schools represent just the tip of the iceberg, and that there are many other schools and organizations with similar needs and challenges that could potentially benefit from CloudReady.

That’s where you come in. We’re asking you to help us spread the word and raise awareness about CloudReady.

With our new program, you can refer colleagues and peers whom you think could benefit from CloudReady. For each referral who installs a CloudReady trial, you get a $50 credit toward your renewal. And when they purchase CloudReady, you get a $100 credit.

The more organizations you refer, the sooner you’ll accrue a free renewal of CloudReady (or additional CloudReady licenses) for your school or district!

You can find full details about how the program works, including how you can get started, here.

All CloudReady customers will receive an email containing your unique referral link, so check your inbox! (If you didn’t get the email, no worries—you can contact us or visit the Referral program page to have it sent to you.)

Happy referring!

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Announcement: Neverware​ ​Launches Series B Funding Round

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Announcement: Neverware​ ​Launches Series B Funding Round

 

Hi CloudReady fans,

Well over three years ago, when we first developed the idea for CloudReady and began work on it, we didn’t know what the future would bring. Like many ideas, it seemed at the time like a very good one—there was a definite market need, but we were uncertain whether people and organizations would embrace the idea of a new operating system to the point where it could become viable for the company.

Back then, we could only hope and dream that CloudReady would be successful. But it was; post launch, we saw widespread adoption and growth, and over the past few years it’s been incredibly exciting and fulfilling to witness the passion of our Home users and the validation from our Education users, who regularly tell us how CloudReady has enabled their schools to increase technology access for students while providing the secure, fast, easy environment they need to learn.

So while it may have felt daring to imagine CloudReady’s success back then, we really couldn’t have conceived of this: the announcement that Google will be leading our Series B investment round as our newest investor.

Google’s validation of us and of CloudReady is gratifying, but it’s also indicative of the market shift we’ve seen over the last few years. As organizations increasingly move to the cloud, the need for a new computing environment—one designed for the cloud, with security, manageability, and ease of use baked in rather than added after the fact—has only grown more obvious and more urgent.

With its Chrome Enterprise offering, Google has already turned its considerable focus in this direction. And now, of course, we’re pleased to join them. Their investment in us allows us to grow and scale to meet that enterprise market need while also continuing to nurture and expand our strong foothold in the education market. (I could not be more proud of the fact that CloudReady is now used by school districts spanning all 50 US states.)

It’s a very exciting time for Neverware and for this team of talented, dedicated professionals that I get the pleasure of working with every single day.

We’ll keep you updated on any additional news, but in the meantime, thank you as always for supporting us. 

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Bringing back CloudReady VM in VMware OVA format

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Bringing back CloudReady VM in VMware OVA format

 

Greetings CloudReady VM Fans,

We're pleased to announce that a VMware OVA appliance of CloudReady: Home Edition is once again available for download!

The update to version 57 of CloudReady involved a major under-the-hood graphics change to a new graphics stack called Freon. Freon provides a host of performance improvements,  as well as providing some future-proofing and reduced likelihood of bugs by keeping CloudReady more aligned with Chrome OS.  Unfortunately, Freon also broke CloudReady’s ability to run as a VM in VirtualBox or VMware environments.  After considerable development work and testing, the CloudReady: Home Edition v59 appliance is now available for download below.

 

CloudReady v59.3 VMware OVA appliance

VMware Player (Windows & Linux, free for personal use)

 

As always, this VM is provided as a convenience should still be considered experimental and unsupported. CloudReady is designed to run best when fully-installed on certified models, so we don’t offer a VM of our supported Education and Enterprise Editions of CloudReady, and we encourage everyone to use CloudReady VMs only for experimental and/or temporary purposes. You're also welcome to join the conversation on this topic in our user community.

 

The situation for running CloudReady using VirtualBox has proved more complex. VM use of CloudReady has been popular in a way we did not anticipate, so we wanted to get a working version available as soon as possible, starting with the VMWare download, but we know there are folks out there who prefer VirtualBox. We hope to follow with a solution for as well soon..  

Have fun and send bug reports!

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CloudReady USB Maker Now Available for Education and Enterprise Editions!

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CloudReady USB Maker Now Available for Education and Enterprise Editions!

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

A few weeks ago we started testing a new tool for our Home Edition users: the CloudReady USB Maker. We're excited to be making an updated version of it available today, including for our customers using the Education or Enterprise Editions.

The CloudReady USB Maker is a Windows application (.exe) that you can download directly from Neverware to guide you through the process of creating a CloudReady USB installer.

Current customers, or those with a trial of CloudReady, can get the USB Maker by logging in to my.Neverware.com and visiting their Downloads tab.

Find the USB Maker in my.Neverware.com's Downloads tab, as shown above. 

Find the USB Maker in my.Neverware.com's Downloads tab, as shown above. 

Users of the Home Edition can find the latest version here, as before.

The CloudReady install guide has also been updated to include this new tool, so you can still count on finding all the info you need to install there.

We hope that the USB Maker will be the next step forward in making it easy for anyone to try CloudReady. As always, your feedback and suggestions are always welcome!

 

Education & Enterprise Users - Need help? 

Contact support!

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