Chrome OS will soon match Chrome’s new speedy release cycle
Earlier this year, Google announced that new major updates to the Chrome web browser would happen every four weeks instead of every six weeks. The change was due to Google already releasing bi-weekly security updates, so delivering new features at a faster rate wouldn’t be too much extra work. At the time, Google wasn’t saying how the release schedule for Chrome OS would be affected, but now details have been released for how Chromebooks will receive updates moving forward.
Chrome 94, which will arrive in the third quarter of this year, will be the first version to kick off the 4-week release schedule. Google has now confirmed in a blog post that Chrome OS will match the faster schedule, but not until Chrome OS 96, which should be released sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. At the same time, Google will start offering a 6-month update channel for Chromebooks in enterprise and education environments, similar to the Long-term support releases common in other software projects.
Google also confirmed it will skip a version to sync up the release calendars between Chrome and Chrome OS. “To bridge the gap between M94 when Chrome moves to a four week release and M96,” the company said, “Chrome OS will skip M95.” Chrome OS 94 is currently set to be released on September 21, 2021.
The updated release schedule follows many other recent changes to Chrome OS, like an upcoming notifications revamp, Nearby Share with Android devices and other Chromebooks, and the Linux container graduating from beta status. There has also been a steady trickle of new hardware, like the Tiger Lake-based Chromebooks announced by HP last month.