As millions of people adapt to working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has decided to pause on adding new features to Chrome and Chrome OS in an effort to keep the essential software running as smoothly as possible. In a tweet today, the Chrome development team acknowledged that “adjusted work schedules” have led the company to hit pause on “upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases.”
“Our goal is to ensure they continue to be stable, secure, and reliable for anyone who depends on them.” Google will “prioritize updates related to security” for the time being, adding that some of those will be forthcoming in Chrome 80.
Due to adjusted work schedules, we’re pausing upcoming Chrome & Chrome OS releases. Our goal is to ensure they continue to be stable, secure, & reliable for anyone who depends on them. We’ll prioritize updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80. Stay tuned.— Chrome Developers (@ChromiumDev) March 18, 2020
It makes sense that Google doesn’t want to risk unforeseen bugs popping up and making life more difficult for Chromebook owners and everyone doing their work in Chrome during these stressful days. This is also an admission that it’s difficult to balance Chrome stability and new features with the team so decentralized. So Google is wisely prioritizing the former.