Chrome and Edge initiates speedier release times; businesses are able to skip versions
Both Chrome from Microsoft and Google’s Edge started their weekly release schedule with the announcement of the last week of version 94 for each browser. Google launched Chrome 94 on 21 September while Microsoft announced Edge 94 three days later on the 24th of September.
As of the date, Chrome and Edge will update at least every 4 weeks. Chrome 95 and Edge 95 for instance will launch on 19 and 21 October respectively. There are exceptions to the same schedule during holidays, however. For example, Chrome 96, the final version of 2021 will be released on November 16th and will be immediately followed by Chrome 97 on 4 January 2022, which is a seven-week period.
Google made public the shift to a regular timetable for releases in the early months of March. Microsoft immediately came through with announcing its own a few days later. Microsoft can’t separate the release schedule of Edge and Chrome since they both run on Chromium which is an open-source project led by Google engineers.
The new release schedule that is available for it and Edge mirrors Mozilla’s Firefox that was able to switch into the four-week release schedule in September 2019.
In conjunction with the launch of Chrome 94 and Edge 94, Google and Microsoft each have also introduced an enterprise-specific release cycle called “Extended Stable,” which is updated every eight weeks, rather than four. The longer period between releases is designed to provide IT administrators “a longer timeline to test and validate new browser versions.”
Extended Stable releases are made available with respect to it as well as Edge in their odd-numbered versions. So, businesses that use this Extended Stable model with Chrome/Edge 94 will get Chrome/Edge 96 in November, but they will not receive the version of October. 95.
IT administrators are able to configure users’ versions to set their copies of Chrome in the Extended Stable release through Windows group policies specifically the target channel Override option, which is described in the online support documentation. Instructions on changing Chrome for Extended Stable mode for macOS are located in this article. These policies can be set in-house by administrators or alternatively through it Google’s Browser Cloud management.
For Edge For Edge, the exact Target Channel override policy is able to switch the browser to Extended Stable’s eight-week release schedule. To keep with its own terminology, Microsoft calls this the Extended Stable Channel. Admins can also activate the longer release time using the Configuration Manager and Intune.
Security updates that only contain patches for new vulnerabilities will be received through Extended Stable builds at the same time as they’re released for the general Stable version that is available for Chrome as well as Edge.