Coronavirus Disrupts Google Chrome Development

Last week, Google announced Coronavirus-related delays to Chrome OS release dates. Those delays have now changed to abandonment (or version skipping). Jason Kersey, Chrome Director of Technical Program Management, made the following announcement in the Chromium Dev Google Group:

"[W]e have decided to skip the M82 release to ensure we keep users safe and focus all efforts on maintaining stability.

Here are some of the immediate actions based on the above decision:

  • We will abandon current M82 branches, remove infra support, and stop testing/merges to the branches
  • We will not push any new M82 releases to Dev, and we will stop stabilization for Beta
  • We will move Dev channel to M83 asap
  • We will keep Beta channel on M81 until M83 is ready to be promoted"

These changes come as a result of Google making a major move towards remote work, like so many companies have been forced to do. With tight release dates constantly keeping the Chrome team pushing its three channels, M82 is not feasible to release to Google's standards.

The team was clear to report that development is ongoing, and generally unchanged. The only developer impact will be an eventual switch from 81 to 83 in production environments of Chrome. Stay tuned to the Chromium blog for more updates.

Be sure to read the next Browsers article: Media Feeds API for Chrome Would Enable Recommended Video Feeds