In March of this year, Google announced that the company’s Chrome browser would begin seeing 4-week updates with the release of version 94 of the desktop browser. This shortens the milestone cycle by two weeks from the current 6-week cycle that we have known for more than a decade and that doesn’t include the bi-weekly security updates that roll as incremental versions. At that time, it was unclear whether or not the Chrome operating system, a.k.a. Chrome OS, would move to this new update cycle but we speculated that this may be the case in lieu of Google splitting Chrome OS from the Chrome browser via Lacros.
Today, our theories have been confirmed and Google has announced upcoming changes to the Chrome OS release schedule that will mirror the future releases of the Chrome desktop browser. According to the Chromium Blog Post, the Chrome OS release schedule will shift to a 4-week rollout beginning in Q3 with version 94 of the operating system. The adjusted timeline will result in an awkward gap in the release schedule but Google has shared its plan to keep things lined up after the change.
To bridge the gap between M94 when Chrome moves to a four week release and M96, Chrome OS will skip M95 (see the updated Chrome schedule page for milestone-specific details).Chromium Blog
As of this post, Chrome OS 94 is slated for release on October 14th of 2021 and the new schedule will see Chrome OS 96 arriving six weeks later on November 30th at which point, the desktop browser and Chrome OS will continue on the same schedule with the regular release of the OS happening a week or two after the desktop version of Chrome. As with Chrome, Google will be adding an additional channel to Chrome OS for education and enterprise customers. Details haven’t been shared but presumably, this will be a long-term release that receives ongoing security updates while holding back major milestone updates to give admins the opportunity to better manage updates. Learn more on The Chromium Blog.