The pandemic has affected every industry, including behemoth companies like Google. While Google has already announced that it will be cutting back Chrome browser development, the company made another shocking announcement that it has been forced to scrape the next major release of Chrome due to the coronavirus outbreak.
At the time, the company was planning on abandoning the current project of M82—the codename for Chrome 82. M82 would have been the driving force between the next major upgrade of Chrome on Mac, Windows, Android, and Chrome OS.
Jason Kersey, Google’s director of technical program management, said, “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.”
However, almost immediately, the company decided that it will re-resume Chrome and Chrome OS release updates. The timeline has now been shifted, with some updates coming earlier than expected. Here is the updated timeline:
- M83 is scheduled to be released three weeks earlier than previously anticipated. All M82 work will be included in that update, as Google plans on skipping the M82 version.
- The Canary, Dev, and Beta channels have resumed. M83 is the Dv, with M81 remaining in Beta.
- Google’s Stable channel will release security and critical fixes of the current version of Chrome, M80. This work will continue for the release of M81 during the week of April 7, and M83 in Mid-May.
- The release of M84 is still in progress, and Google will share an update on the timeline and release details in the near future.
Regardless of what happens in the upcoming weeks, Google remains committed to keeping the Chrome browser as safe and secure as possible. Even if future projects get canceled, the company will continue to deliver security patches for the most current version of Chrome. In these unprecedented times, this is essential because it will protect the more than 2 billion users of Google Chrome.
In a separate announcement, Google released yet another Chrome update, which introduced new Terms of Service for all users. These new terms took effect on March 31 and covered the following sections:
- Service provide: Small changes were made in regards to Google’s company details
- Age requirements: Now, users must be at least 13-years-old to manage a Google account without the supervision and permission of a parental figure/guardian
- Permission To Use Your Content: Google maintains that it will only publish content that you have made public and visible to others
- Liabilities: This is one of the most major changes here, as it changed Google’s limited liability fees. If there is a breach of service, you can receive $500 or 125% of the fees paid to use Chrome and other services, which likely won’t amount to much for the average user.
- Disputes, Law, and Courts: Now, “California law will govern all disputes,” unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If you are a regular Chrome user, it is worth your time to read the complete terms of service. Especially with the pandemic and many people are self-isolating at home, you likely have more time to read a long document than normal!
Google is not the only big company affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Similar to Google, Microsoft confirmed on March 20 that it will be discontinuing the next major version of Edge. Edge is built on a Chromium core, similar to Google Chrome, and it was clear that Microsoft would have to follow suit.
However, on March 31, Microsoft also updated its timeline to “be consistent with the Chromium project, which recently announced a similar pause due to adjusted schedules, and out of a desire to minimize additional impact to web developers and organizations that are similarly impacted.”
With this most recent update, Microsoft confirmed they would continue to deliver Edge 81 in early April. The company will continue to push out security and stability updates to the current version of Edge, and all preview channels will remain on the regular schedule. The most important thing to note is that version 82 will be canceled, with “Microsoft jumping ahead to Microsoft Edge 83 for their next release in mid-May.
Overall, this should be a positive move for Microsoft, which has been trying to take down the popular Google Chrome for some time with its Edge Browser. Microsoft has been ramping up the release of its feature to ensure that it is just not another Google Chrome copycat. Some of the newest features that will be released by Microsoft edge include:
- Vertical tabs to help you manage your searches more effectively
- Collections to assist in the organization of web pages, text, and images
- Smart copy so you can copy and paste text from the internet while retaining its rich web format
All around, both Google and Microsoft have been things planned for its internet users. Stay tuned to see how the coronavirus affects even online businesses.