DDE_Server

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Google has only just announced significant cuts to Chrome browser development. But today it is taking things even further.

In a shock move first spotted by ChromeUnboxed, Google has warned users that the the impact of COVID-19 means it has had to scrap the next major release of Chrome entirely.

03/25 Update: Microsoft has now followed in Google's steps, confirming it will also cancel the next major version of Edge. Given that Edge is now built on a Chromium core like Google Chrome, Microsoft had little choice but to follow suit. "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," the company explained. Opera is also based on Chromium and while it has not made an announcement to stall new versions, that seems like a matter of time. Firefox, on the other hand, is based on its own Gecko engine and it remains to be seen whether the company chooses to continue releasing new versions at this time.
“As we adapt our future milestone schedules to the current change in schedule, we have decided to skip the M82 release to ensure we keep users safe and focus all efforts on maintaining stability,” explained Jason Kersey, Google’s director of technical program management.

M82 is the codename for Chrome 82 and it would have been the backbone for the next big upgrade of Chrome on Windows, Mac, Android and Chrome OS. Kersey states that every element of the release will be abandoned with plans to skip to Chrome 83 (M83) at some point in the future:
  • 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

In fairness to Google, while this comes as a shock because it is an unprecedented move in Chrome’s 11-year history, we are currently living in unprecedented times. Moreover, while Chrome feature development is in hiatus, Google will continue to deliver security patches for the current version of Chrome, protecting the browser’s 2BN strong userbase.

So where do we go from here? There will be more cancellations. Chromium, the core for Google Chrome, powers numerous web browsers, including Microsoft Edge. All are now hamstrung and you can expect Microsoft to lead the way in making a similar announcement for Edge this week.
 

shmu26

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I think I can live for a while without a Chrome/Chromium feature update. Not a big deal as far as I am concerned.

It will be interesting to see if the current crisis significantly delays the spring Windows 10 feature update.

Why is having the devs working from home on their fancy laptops such a big handicap in the first place? I mean, these devs working for Google are not mothers of large families, right? They are mostly guys with zero to 2 children, and maybe a cat or two. So what's stopping them from working productively at home?
I think it's the team cooperation on closed-source code that they don't want to leak. That's my guess.
 
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DDE_Server

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I think I can live for a while without a Chrome/Chromium feature update. Not a big deal as far as I am concerned.
It will be interesting to see if the current crisis significantly delays the spring Windows 10 feature update.
I think the development should focus only on developing security patches which are very important at the time being (adding new features are not important and useless in this stage) than any time before as the migration for work from home and a lot of enterprises become home managed
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Chrome and Chrome OS release updates:
We previously paused upcoming releases for Chrome and Chrome OS. Today we’re sharing an update as we’re now resuming releases with an adjusted schedule:
  • M83 will be released three weeks earlier than previously planned and will include all M82 work as we cancelled the M82 release (all channels).
  • Our Canary, Dev and Beta channels have or will resume this week, with M83 moving to Dev, and M81 continuing in Beta.
  • Our Stable channel will resume release next week with security and critical fixes in M80, followed by the release of M81 the week of April 7, and M83 ~mid-May.
  • We will share a future update on the timing of the M84 branch and releases.
We continue to closely monitor that Chrome and Chrome OS are stable, secure, and work reliably. We’ll keep everyone informed of any changes on our schedule on this blog and will share additional details on the schedule in the Chromium Developers group, as needed. You can also check our schedule page for specific dates for each milestone at any time.

Thanks everyone for the help and patience during this time.

Google Chrome
 
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