Google speeds up Chrome update cycle to four weeks

Enterprise administrators will have a slower eight-week option to manage the update

Google's Chrome browser ready for download

Google's Chrome browser is moving to a faster release cycle with new milestones shipped every four weeks, instead of the usual six-week cycle, the company has announced.

It will start with Chrome 94, which is due for release in the third quarter of 2021 and means that the big centenary update - Chrome 100 - is likely to fall early next year, on 29 March.

Chrome will now be in line with Mozilla's Firefox, which switched to a four-week cycle last year. However, Google is also offering an 8-week cycle via an Extended Stable option for enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders who need more time to manage the update.

There will also be bi-weekly security patches to fix certain issues, but these will not contain new features or even the majority of the security fixes that the 4-week update will bring.

"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," Alex Mineer, the technical program manager, Chrome operations, explained.

The Chrome team has updated the documentation for its release cycles but it is also calling for feedback from Chromium contributors to be sent to 'branches@chromium.org'. There is also a preliminary update on the release calendar which will be kept up to date ahead of the new release cycle.

Google has also said that Chrome OS users will also receive support for multiple stable releases in the future. More details on that will be shared "in the coming months" the company said, but it will include choices for milestone updates to managed devices.

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