Google will have to delay updates to its Chrome web browser due to the novel covid19 pandemic, the company said on Wednesday, and Microsoft said Friday it would do the same thing.
Before adjusted work schedules recently, we are pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases, the Chrome team said in a blog post. Google will ensure that they continue to offer security updates to the recent Chrome, version 80, the company added also.
Microsoft’s current Edge browser is based on Chromium Google’s open-source software foundation to Chrome, and it is now paused too. Microsoft will also launch security updates to the existing version, even with regular updates to Edge beta with other test versions, said Kyle Pflug, an Edge principal product manager of Microsoft.
The coronavirus and the COVID-19 infection it causes have affected businesses, especially those that depend on shipping, factories and other real-world resources affected by lockdowns to slow the virus’s outbreak. Google’s announcement reveals that even people who deal solely with computers for a living are being affected too. That is because closed schools, telecommuting and other factors are affecting people whose jobs are already mostly virtual.
Chrome is the most generally used browser, accounting for 64% of web browsing activity, according to analytics firm StatCounter. Google releases new versions every six weeks, fixing bugs and introducing new features to make the web a more robust foundation for apps to ensure individual comfort.
Slowing its development mostly will not affect ordinary people since Google does not plan to pause security updates. But it has other ripple effects on the tech industry since so many different browsers rely on Chromium.
Other browsers in that situation besides Edge include Brave, Samsung Browser, Vivaldi and Opera.
On Wednesday, Google explained that they are suspending all future releases of the Chrome browser, which includes Chrome 81, during the Coronavirus spread. Google will continue, though, to provide recent versions of Chrome 80 to fix every security bugs that are currently discovered.
As Microsoft Edge goes with the same release cycle as Google Chrome, Microsoft Tweeted on Friday that they have concluded to follow Google’s lead and have paused all significant releases of the Edge browser.
Obviously we are making this change to be consistent with the Chromium project, which recently announced a natural pause due to adjusted schedules due to out of a desire to minimize additional impact to web developers and firms that are similarly impacted,” Microsoft wrote in a recent blog.
Although there is a pause on releases, the blog assured Microsoft Edge users that their current browser would be maintained.
It’s an inconvenient yet necessary decision for both Edge and Chrome. New updates require exhaustive security testing and compatibility checks. And with a coronavirus affecting workforces, this is not an ideal time for critical releases.