As businesses pare back services or shut down entirely in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, Google has apparently started making some tough decisions as well. The company announced today that it will temporarily halt new Chrome and Chrome OS releases for the time being. There’s no word on when the Chrome team will be back on their normal release schedules, but it seems to depend on what happens with the COVID-19 outbreak from here.
The news was posted on Google’s Chrome Releases blog today. The company says that the Chrome team will shift its focus to ensure that Chrome and Chrome OS are “stable, secure, and work reliably for anyone who depends on them.”
Speaking of security, this pause in the Chrome schedule doesn’t necessarily mean a stop in security updates. “We’ll continue to prioritize any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80,” Google wrote in the blog post. Chrome users are instructed to keep an eye on the Chrome Releases blog for more, but given the current situation, we probably won’t hear more about when updates will resume for a little while at least.
Earlier this month, Google announced that it was cancelling the in-person portion of Google I/O this year. Google I/O is the company’s yearly press conference during which it announces new products and services, and 2020’s installment was scheduled to take place from May 12th to the 14th.
Google I/O hasn’t been cancelled entirely, though, as the company still plans to host some of the conference online. Most of Google I/O could probably be moved online at this point, so hopefully when the time comes, we’ll still get to see all of the big announcements Google had lined up. In any case, we’ll let you know when Google shares more about potentially resuming Chrome releases, so stay tuned for that.