Google is Speeding Up the Chrome Release Schedule

Posted on March 4, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google Chrome with 11 Comments

Google announced today that it will shorten the Chrome release schedule from every six weeks to every four weeks.

“For more than a decade, Chrome has shipped a new milestone every 6 weeks, delivering security, stability, speed and simplicity to our users and the web,” Google’s Alex Mineer writes. “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. Because of this, we are excited to announce that Chrome is planning to move to releasing a new milestone every 4 weeks, starting with Chrome 94 in Q3 of 2021.”

Google is also adding what it calls an Extended Stable option, which will provide milestone updates every 8 weeks. This will be available to enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders who need additional time to manage updates, Google says.

And this change will impact Chrome OS, as well, though Google is being a bit vague on the details.

“For users on Chrome OS, we also plan to support multiple stable release options,” Mineer says. “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.”

Naturally, one wonders whether Microsoft will switch to a four-week release schedule for the Chromium-based Edge browser or stick with the current six-week schedule. No word yet on that.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Google is Speeding Up the Chrome Release Schedule”

  1. bart

    Not sure MS has much of a choice, if they do not wish to fall behind in security updates/features?

  2. martinusv2

    i do not think Microsoft can keep the pace. :)

  3. dftf

    "[...] Chrome is planning to move to releasing a new milestone every 4 weeks!"

    Given web-browsers usually auto-update silently in the background, and can often do-so multiple times a week, is this move really a big thing? I guess it lines up with things like Windows, macOS and Android (at-least for Pixel phones) which all do updates on a four-week basis -- but they also don't often drop random-updates in-between. So... okay, sure, why not, I guess?


    "Google is also adding what it calls an Extended Stable option, which will provide milestone updates every 8 weeks"

    As an enterprise, if you might be better-off with the Firefox ESR releases, instead. They typically only do a major-update once-a-year, with just security-patches in-between.


    "Naturally, one wonders whether Microsoft will switch to a four-week release schedule for [...] Edge"

    Of course they will; Edge usually gets updates at the same time as Google Chrome. Whether other Chromium browsers, like Brave, Opera and Vivaldi, will follow-suit though I don't know.


    [Edit: removed Safari from the list of Chromium browsers]

  4. IanYates82

    Or go to the 8 week schedule for "embedders?"

  5. sherlockholmes

    Every 4 weeks a new browser version? I hope MS keeps up with quality control.

  6. red.radar


    I read it this way..... They really are slowing it down from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. But forcing non enterprise customers to beta test the changes before the LTS release rolls out to everyone.


  7. glassman1234

    My cynical view is that by doing this, Google puts pressure on other Chromium based browsers to follow suit. Given their respective size, some may not be able to maintain this pace and will revert to the Extended Stable version. Google can then tout the benefits of using Chrome over say Brave by stating it's using the most current version.

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