With timelines for Google Chrome OS approaching, Google is getting more proactive in contributing to its baseline: Chromium project.
14 months ago, Chrome was still at version number 1. Today we are well into the version 5 cycle with version 6 approaching beta status. Without doubt, Chrome shows the fastest pace not just in version numbers, but new features, performance and GUI modifications. Google believes that the release cycles aren’t short enough and decided to cut the release time of stable versions in half.
Over the next few months, they are going to roll out a new release process to accelerate the pace at which Google Chrome stable releases become available. What this means is that we would see a new stable version about once every six weeks.
Google explains the reason for this change as:
- Shorten the release cycle and still get great features in front of users when they are ready
- Make the schedule more predictable and easier to scope — good project management practice
- Reduce the pressure on engineering to “make” a release — Release pressure off software engineers to finish features in a single release cycle, if a certain thing is half baked, push it to next one and deliver whats ready.
Evidently, new features are coming every few days, and Google doesn’t want to make users wait for them long enough before they can use them.
Needless to say, Google’s pace is much faster than Mozilla’s and Microsoft’s roadmap. Mozilla is aiming for a major new release once every six months and Microsoft is more on an 18-24 month schedule.
According to the new schedule it feels like Chrome 6 is already overdue. The expectation now is that every Chrome version may not be perceived quite as comprehensive as previous releases. Chrome 6, for example, will deliver major changes in its user interface and menu structure. However, recent Chrome developer versions showed fluctuating HTML5 graphics performance and HTML5 feature support and it appears that the shorter release cycle may help Google to catch up with new features or rivals in less time, while the competition may have a tough time to keep up with Google.
So, get ready to see us pick up the pace and for new features to reach the Chrome stable channel more quickly.