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OK, Google: Unshackled from Windows, Edge team is free to follow where Chromium leads

Microsoft's new browser dials up the release cadence

Having hitched its wagon firmly to Google's, Microsoft is to join the four-week and eight-week release cycle cadence that is now in the offing for its Edge browser.

While the two giants might have traded barbs at the weekend over the impact big tech has had on the media, in the browser wars Microsoft is seemingly following where Google leads, having ditched Legacy Edge in favour of the Chromium engine.

Bravely stating "for many, innovation can't come fast enough!" Microsoft is to slavishly adopt Google's four-week major release cadence. It will also throw a bone at enterprise customers seeking something a little lengthier with an eight-week release cycle. The default will, however, be that four-week cadence.

It's a far cry from the Legacy Edge and Internet Explorer of old, where major updates accompanied releases of Microsoft's Windows operating system. Unshackled from Windows, the Edge team is now free to, er, follow where the Chromium team leads.

As with Google's Chrome, the change will land with version 94. Microsoft's current plan is to ship it to the stable channel in the week of 23 September, a few short weeks after version 93. The current "~6 weeks" cadence will then switch to four weeks with a break for December.

Security updates will also ape Google's model, with those seeking the quiet life of that eight-week long Extended Stable option still on the receiving end of a biweekly security update.

Microsoft is not the only browser maker faced with having to make a response to the whims of the Chromium team. A spokesperson for Vivaldi told The Register: "It will probably be very difficult for embedders to track the 4-week schedule. We are evaluating this and going forward will consider how to adapt to the new schedules. We want to give our users an up-to-date version in sync with Chromium updates." ®

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