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Google Chrome and Chrome OS are set to skip version 82 due to delays

Last week, it was announced that Google would be pausing its standard update schedule for Chrome and Chrome OS, instead keeping version 80 running well with bug and security fixes. Now we’re learning that, due to these delays, there won’t even be a version 82 of Chrome or Chrome OS.

Before the release schedule push was announced, we were expecting Chrome and Chrome OS version 81 to begin releasing soon. As that version has already reached the beta phase, we’re expecting Google will launch Chrome 81 once they feel confident in releasing despite their employees “adjusted work schedules” or once we’ve properly beaten the coronavirus and gotten back to work.

After that, one would expect the version after Chrome 81 to be Chrome 82, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, according to an announcement spotted by Chrome Unboxed in the official Chromium Google Group. Instead, the announcement states that Chrome 82 is being skipped altogether, emphasis theirs.

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.

To that end, it looks like Google is abandoning the work done to get Chrome 82 stable in preparation for it to be released. From there, Chrome 83 will become the version that those of us on Dev and Canary release channels will use.

Here are some of the immediate actions based on the above decision:

  • 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 stabilization for Beta
  • We will move Dev channel to M83 asap
  • We will keep Beta channel on M81 until M83 is ready to be promoted

Essentially, the features that would have launched in Chrome 82 will be held until Chrome 83, which should make for an exciting update once we get on the other side of this crisis. Once Google is able to release Chrome and Chrome OS 81 sometime later this year, only then will the company begin to make a decision on when to set Chrome 83’s projected release date and resume Chrome’s release cycle.

Once M81 is cleared to release to Stable, we expect to adjust our future milestone schedules, including possibility shifting M83 forward to target an earlier branch and Stable date.

As the new Microsoft Edge is closely following Google’s Chromium release schedule and version numbering scheme, even pausing their own updates when Google paused Chromium’s, it’s likely that Edge will also skip version 82.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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