In a move first spotted by ChromeUnboxed, Google has warned users that the impact of COVID-19 means it has had to scrap the next major release of Chrome entirely.
Jason Kersey, Google’s director of technical programme 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.”
M82 is the codename for Chrome 82, and it would have been the backbone for the next significant 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) soon:
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 stabilisation for Beta.
We will move Dev channel to M83 asap
We will keep the Beta channel on M81 until M83 is ready to be promoted.
While the delay may not annoy many users who have an issue with trusting Google over privacy concerns, the move will have a knock-on effect on Microsoft and Opera - which were unfortunate enough to move onto the Google engine recently. Firefox is not affected by Google of course, but it might have staff problems of its own which it has not told us about yet.