So if Google is doing such a crap job, how come 50% of schools in the US use Chromebooks and Microsoft are accelerating the release their equivalent of a Chromebook? I use the phrase lightly as it will just be a crippled form of Windows, married with a clunky back end.... Microsoft are being crucified in the education space currently.
Ask teachers who use both if Office 365 or Google Workspace works better in a classroom? In my experience there is a consistent Googley reply from the majority.
Chromebooks are prevalent in education as they have long battery lives, are easy to manage, allow collaboration, do not require the skills of an 'expert' to support, are easy to use and are one of the few devices which have lower case keys on their keyboards (kids learn lower case first and the majority of keyboards are in upper case). They are also cheap to buy, run and support and can be locked down easily. Why wouldn't you use such a device? Kids love them. I speak as someone who has rolled out thousands to over 100 sites.
Google does not slurp education data - their terms of service prevent this, nor do they advertise to kids. And in this sense they are no better or worse than Microsoft.
The reason why Chromebooks have a failure with some people in the domestic market is because they buy a cheap machine and then get surprised when it doesn't have Windows on it. Is this Google's fault? Or pay £150 and wonder why the machine is fragile, plasticy or slow. There's no accounting for stupidity.
No they don't degrade with time and they don't stop working, they just stop getting updates, like Macs and Windows machines. And like both, there are software alternatives to extend their life. The latest Chromebooks are shipping with 8 year planned lives.
They are fast, stable, boot up quick, run Android and Linux. What's not to like?