Google to release Chrome Early Stable updates from Chrome 110 on
Some users of the Google Chrome web browser will receive stable versions of the web browser a week earlier than the rest. Starting with Chrome 110, scheduled for a release in early February 2022, Google plans to release the browser a week early to a small subset of users.
The announcement was published by Rachel Andrew at the official Chrome Developer blog. According to the published information, Chrome Early Stable 110 will be released to some users on February 1, 2023. The mass of Chrome Stable users will receive the new version of the browser on February 7, 2023 based on the regular release schedule.
The official release date on February 7 will also be the date the new version is published on the Chrome download page.
Google explains why it decided to make the change:
"By releasing stable to a small percentage of users early, we get a chance to monitor the release before it rolls out to all of our users. If any showstopping issue is discovered, it can be addressed while the impact is relatively small".
While that sounds like a good idea on paper, it is actually only good for Google, which gets more release Telemetry early on. Chrome Stable users on the other hand may feel like guinea pigs on the other hand.
Google does not reveal any information on how it is picking Chrome installations, and whether the same installations are picked permanently once selected, and whether users have any say in the matter. It is unclear if Google plans to release Chrome Early Stable only for major version upgrades, or for any Stable release of the web browser.
Users are kept in the dark. Many may not want the Chrome Early Stable release, especially since these may still be considered beta releases.
Is there an opt-in or opt-out available? Or is Google playing Russian Roulette with Chrome Stable users? We do not know at this time, but if I had to guess, users won't get a say in the matter and are picked randomly one week prior to any new Chrome Stable release.
There should either be an opt-out or a skip feature. We will see how this plays out in February, unless Google reveals more information on Chrome Early Stable before the Chrome 110 release date.
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