Microsoft follows Google: Edge updates paused due to COVID-19

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The last thing Microsoft wants to do is follow in Google's footsteps, but the Redmond-based firm has no choice. As Chrome pauses updates due to COVID-19, Edge implements the same upgrade-halting measures as its biggest browser competitor, BleeingComputer reported.

The novel coronavirus is continuing to cause impediments in the tech industry, and this time, browser updates are being affected. In a tweet last Friday, Microsoft announced that it would pause new releases of the Edge browser.

The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge runs on the same web engine as Google Chrome, so with Chrome's upgraded suspension, it's no surprise Edge won't roll out browser version 81 as scheduled.

"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," Microsoft wrote in a recent blog.

Although there is a pause on releases, the blog assured Microsoft Edge users that their current browser will be maintained.

"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," Microsoft wrote.

It's an inconvenient, yet necessary decision for both Edge and Chrome. New updates require exhaustive security testing and compatibility checks. And with a coronavirus affecting workforces, this is not an ideal time for critical releases.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!