Chrome release cycle accelerated to four-weekly frenzy

The Chromium crew has revved its engines and decided it will soon emit a new stable release every four weeks and create a new type of release for those who are built for comfort rather than speed.

“For more than a decade, Chrome has shipped a new milestone every six weeks,” opens a post by Alex Mineer, technical program manager for Chrome operations.

“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.”

Hence the plan to deliver a new cut of Chrome every four weeks, tentatively starting with Chrome 94 in Q3 of 2021 according to Chrome’s release cycle documentation.

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As that’s rather rapid, the new plan has also seen the creation of a new “Extended Stable” release that appears every eight weeks.

“Extended Stable will be available to enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders who need additional time to manage updates,” Mineer wrote, explaining that “Security updates on Extended Stable will be released every two weeks to fix important issues, but those updates won’t contain new features or all security fixes that the four-week option will receive.”

Just what this means for ChromeOS hasn’t been sorted out just yet, which may be a little concerning as it recently crept past macOS to become the third-most prevalent OS shipped with new PCs.

Mineer said plans are afoot to “support multiple stable release options” and promised. “We’ll have more to share with Chrome OS administrators in the coming months about the choices you’ll have for milestone updates to your managed devices.” ®

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