Why it matters: With the coronavirus forcing many people to work from home, the disruption is affecting release schedules. Google is skipping version 82 of Chrome, and Microsoft has put a hold on new Edge browser updates.
Google last week announced that it would be pausing its Chrome and Chrome OS releases due to adjusted work schedules caused by the coronavirus, adding that it would prioritize updates related to security, making sure the current Chrome 80 version is as secure as possible. As a result, Chrome 81, which was originally scheduled to launch on March 17, will stay in the beta phase for now.
While Chrome 81 is on hold until Google decides to resume releases, Chrome Unboxed spotted a post that reveals the next version of the browser is being skipped entirely. Jason Kersey, Director of Technical Program Management, writes: “we have decided to skip the M82 release to ensure we keep users safe and focus all efforts on maintaining stability.”
Kersey adds that the beta channel will remain on version 81 until version 83 is ready to be promoted, while Chrome 82 is being abandoned. The good news is that all the features expected in 82 will be added to Chrome 83, which could arrive earlier than planned.
Google isn’t the only company whose browser releases are being disrupted by staff working from home. Microsoft has put a hold on major new updates to Edge and will instead focus on fixing bugs in the current version. It’s likely that the company will also skip version 82 of its browser.