Google says it will speed up how it releases Chrome updates. Starting with Chrome 94 in Q3, 2021, Google will release milestones of its browser every four weeks, instead of every six weeks. This is the first time Google has sped up its Chrome release schedule for more than a decade.
“As we have improved our testing and release processes for Chrome, and deployed bi-weekly security updates to improve our patch gap, it became clear that we could shorten our release cycle and deliver new features more quickly,” explains Alex Mineer, a technical program manager at Chrome.
While consumers will see a new version of Chrome every month, IT administrators will be able to opt for a new Extended Stable option that includes milestone releases every eight weeks. Extended Stable will be available for enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders that need the extra time to manage updates in their environments. Important security updates will still arrive every two weeks in this version, but Extended Stable should hopefully avoid the situation where silent Chrome experiments end up angering IT admins.
Google says it’s also planning “multiple stable release options” for Chrome OS, and will share details with Chrome OS admins in the coming months.
Since other popular browsers like Microsoft’s Edge and Brave use Chromium as well, we reached out to see how this might affect them. Brave tells us they’re planning to move to a four-week release cycle as well, instead of the current three-week cadence: “Instead of a major Chromium bump every 2nd release, we’ll have a major Chromium bump every release going forward,” says a spokesperson. Microsoft declined to comment on its plans for Edge.
Update March 5th, 4:17PM ET: Added Brave’s new release cycle and Microsoft’s decline to comment.