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Microsoft Slows Pace of Edge Browser Development

Due to "current global circumstances," Microsoft has decided to pause updates to the "Stable" version of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser.

The Edge browser will remain at Stable version 80 until further notice, according to Microsoft, and stability and security updates will continue to be released for it. However, development work will continue on the Canary, Dev and Beta builds of Edge, it added.

The "circumstances" mentioned in Microsoft's announcement likely refers to the coronavirus disease pandemic, which has many people working from home. Microsoft's Edge browser is also tied to the pace of the Chromium Project, which had announced a similar slowdown plans last Wednesday.

"As you may have seen, we've currently paused the Chromium release schedule as we work to transition much of our testing and development to happen remotely," a March 18 Chromium Project announcement explained.

The Chromium Project plans to skip the "M82" release and move the Dev channel to M83, while the Beta channel will stay on "M81 until M83 is ready to be promoted." Plans will get updated "once M81 is cleared to release to Stable," the Chromium Project announcement further explained.

Chromium browser technology is used in the Google Chrome browser, the Microsoft Edge browser and the Opera browser.

Meanwhile, Microsoft reported last week that it's seeing a slight boost in developer productivity with much of its workforce working from home. Its developer "pull requests" are slightly higher in the last two months compared with the same period last year. Developer builds are starting earlier in the day, there's less of a drag during lunchtime and software engineers are working longer at night, according to Microsoft's work stats.

Microsoft gives its developers laptops and sets up the Windows Virtual Desktop virtual desktop infrastructure solution for them to access desktops and apps remotely, or access to a virtual private network is added. Developers working from home also use "Visual Studio Live Share for joint debugging sessions and peer learning," Microsoft's announcement explained. Some of the working-from-home desktop setups that Microsoft's employees use (typically with three screens) are shown in this Twitter post.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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