Google is delaying Chrome and Chrome OS updates due to “adjusted work schedules,” and it’s impacting other browsers.
In a statement the company posted on its blog, Google said it wasn’t going to roll out Chrome 81. It was initially due out earlier this week for desktop and Android. The next version of Chrome OS, expected next week, is delayed as well. However, Google says it will prioritize updates related to security, which it will push to Chrome 80.
You can read the full statement below:
“Due to adjusted work schedules at this time, we are pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases. Our primary objectives are to ensure they continue to be stable, secure, and work reliably for anyone who depends on them. We’ll continue to prioritize any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80. Please, follow this blog for updates.”
While the search giant doesn’t specifically mention it, the delay is likely caused by the coronavirus spreading COVID-19. Several companies have shifted to remote work set-ups or closed offices entirely in response to the outbreak. Google is among those companies, and announced earlier this week that the majority of its employees would switch to remote work.
Additionally, Google noted the change may impact products updates, but that all of its products would remain functional.
Further, by not implementing new user-facing features, Google also ensures Chrome remains stable during the outbreak.
In light of the current circumstances, the Edge team will pause updating the Stable channel to Edge 81 consistent with the Chromium Project. We are committed to continued security and stability updates to Edge 80. We’ll have more to share on this next week. https://t.co/nWfm87MEK2
— Microsoft Edge Dev (@MSEdgeDev) March 20, 2020
Unfortunately, the delay has also had a snowball effect. Several other browsers rely on Chromium, the open-source underpinnings of Chrome. With Chrome delaying transitioning Chrome 81 from beta to stable, other Chromium-based browsers are following suit. Notably, Microsoft’s new Edge browser will not push out its version 81 update to keep consistent with Chromium.