The world as we know it looks a lot different than it did just a couple of weeks ago. As millions of students are now homeschooling and countless workers are telecommuting, more and more businesses are closing their doors as the government scrambles to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Google was one of the first global tech companies to mandate that their employees work from home. That said, today’s announcement isn’t too much of a surprise.
Two incremental updates rolled out today for the desktop and Android versions of the Chrome browser but just prior to that, the Chrome team announced that future updates were temporarily being put on hold. It’s unclear at this time how long they’ll hold the pause button but developers will continue to update the current version 80 of the browser and OS to ensure continuing security and stability.
Due to adjusted work schedules at this time, we are pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases. Our primary objectives are to ensure they continue to be stable, secure, and work reliably for anyone who depends on them. We’ll continue to prioritize any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80. Please, follow this blog for updates.Chrome Team
Again, this isn’t a huge surprise but it does leave me wondering if we will see a similar move from hardware companies. We were anticipating that the release of Chrome OS would coincide with the debut of the Lenovo Duet Chromebook Tablet. Could the hold on OS updates also delay the release of this and other devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook? Just today, we saw some premature listings for the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. However, Samsung has been silent and ASUS, who should have already launched the Flip C436, seems to be holding off on an official launch.
With manufacturing being scaled back and so many working from home, it’s very possible that we could see the wheels of progress come to a screeching halt and the release cycle for new devices delayed by months. Given the current state of affairs, it could very well be the best decision across the board. As excited as we are about new devices, some things are more important and the health and well-being of the global community are definitely on that list. We’ll keep a close watch for new updates from the Chrome Team but for now, Stable releases are on the shelf. I would expect that we’ll still see the Beta, Dev and Canary channels getting feature updates and tweaks but development will likely be slower than usual.
Source: Chrome Release Blog