Google Announces The Delay of Chrome 81 Release Because of Coronavirus

Numerous events and launches have lately been called off or delayed amid coronavirus fears. This time, Google has announced that it decided to postpone the release of Chrome 81, the stable version of its web browser, which was set to roll out on March 17th.

The news was welcomed with a bit of shock, as pulling the launch of a browser version so late in the timeframe is extremely unusual, more so when the Chrome developers have announced the arrival on Twitter, in a post that has been deleted.

The same postpone also covers future Chrome versions, which should have rolled out about every five weeks after that. This is what the brief note from the Chrome Release Team said:

“Due to adjusted work schedules at this time, we are pausing upcoming Chrome, and Chrome OS releases. Our primary objectives are to ensure Chrome continues to be stable, secure, and work reliably for anyone who depends on them.”

The ‘adjusted work schedules’ is not a surprise as the tech giant has requested most of its employees to work from home in order to implement social distancing, which would help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

When Will Chrome 81 Appear?

As per the last month’s feature preview, the new version of Chrome will come with support for AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), web NFC, and the incorporation of the V8 JavaScript engine. Numerous new mobile apps supporting these technologies will also appear.

When it comes to security, Chrome 81 also ends the support of TLS 1.0 and 1.1, following the example set by Mozilla‘s Firefox this month. In spite of the delay, Google stated it is currently developing security updates for the current version, Chrome 80, which should be available to users in a few days. This means the developers will address the 13 CVEs issues, including nine of them, rated as ‘high priority.’

Google has not yet announced when it plans to release Chrome 81 but stated it would post more details on the Chrome Release feed and Twitter accounts.

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