Microsoft says new versions of Edge are on hold for the time-being
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are widespread and varied across the tech world. Streaming video services have been reducing quality to ease the strain on the internet, support for old versions of Windows has been extended, and many brand-new cinema releases have been pirated earlier than normal.
In addition to delaying the end of support for Windows 10 version 1709, Microsoft also says that the COVID-19 crisis will impact on the development of its Edge browser. This means that Edge 80 is the last stable build we're going to see for a while.
- Google says that updates to Chrome and Chrome OS are the latest coronavirus victims
- Microsoft Edge has more privacy-invading telemetry than other browsers
- Google stops issuing security warnings to Microsoft Edge users
Microsoft is clearly not alone in finding that the self-isolation, quarantining and home-working caused by coronavirus is having an impact on productivity. The announcement comes as little surprise, as Google said it is pausing updates to Chrome and Chrome OS, and Edge is now based on the Chromium engine
Microsoft's announcement was preceded by one from Google, with developers sharing in a tweet:
During this time, we will not promote Chrome 81 from beta to stable. We plan to begin shipping Dev channels again in the near future, and will continue shipping Canaries as planned.
— Chrome Developers (@ChromiumDev) March 19, 2020
It didn't take long for Edge developers to follow suit:
In light of the current circumstances, the Edge team will pause updating the Stable channel to Edge 81 consistent with the Chromium Project. We are committed to continued security and stability updates to Edge 80. We’ll have more to share on this next week. https://t.co/nWfm87MEK2
— Microsoft Edge Dev (@MSEdgeDev) March 20, 2020
Kyle Pflug from the Microsoft Edge team also penned a blog post explaining the situation:
In light of current global circumstances, the Microsoft Edge team is pausing updates to the Stable channel for Microsoft Edge. This means that Microsoft Edge 81 will not be promoted to Stable until we resume these updates.
We are making this change to be consistent with the Chromium project, which recently announced a similar pause due to adjusted schedules, and out of a desire to minimize additional impact to web developers and organizations that are similarly impacted.
We will continue to deliver security and stability updates to Microsoft Edge 80. Preview channels (Canary, Dev, and Beta) will continue to update on their usual schedule.
It's hard to say quite when developer schedules will get back to normal, but for the foreseeable future, you should probably expect nothing other than security updates.