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Google Chrome is moving to a faster 4-week update cycle



Google has historically released new versions of Chrome every six weeks with no updates rolling in between. In a major change, Google Chrome goes into a four-week update cycle this year.

From the beginning, Google has taken an aggressive stance in updating the browser in the background. Chrome is designed that way to ensure security, with new versions being quietly downloaded and users often being asked to install by rebooting.

Large versions (ie 88 -> 89) with new features are released every six weeks, while smaller security-focused updates come every week. Later this year, Google plans to release a “milestone”

; every four weeks, so that new functionality on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and Chrome OS can come faster monthly.

As we’ve improved the testing and release processes for Chrome, and deployed security updates every week to improve our patch gap, it became clear that we could shorten the release cycle and deliver new features faster.

This four-week cycle is expected to allow Google to “more consistently move the majority of users to the latest stable release within two weeks.”

  Google Chrome updates

As part of this change, “enterprise administrators and Chromium officials who need extra time to manage updates” will have an “Extended Stable” milestone that is on a longer eight-week cycle. Ordinary, unmanaged Chrome users will not be able to access this channel.

Security updates on Extended Stable will be released every two weeks to resolve critical issues, but these updates do not include new features or all security fixes that the 4-week option will receive.

Chrome OS, which is updated one week after desktop and mobile, also supports several stable releases. More details will arrive in the coming months for Chromebook administrators with managed devices.

Google will implement this new release cycle with Chrome 94 in the third quarter of 2021. The company is currently targeting September 21 for that update, with the latest six-week version being Chrome 93 on August 31. A preliminary schedule is available with new documentation, and the team takes feedback from Chromium contributors at branches@chromium.org.

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