Home Browsers Microsoft syncs Edge’s release to Chrome’s cadence

Microsoft syncs Edge’s release to Chrome’s cadence

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Microsoft last week quietly upgraded its Chromium-based Edge to version 80, the first refresh for the browser since it debuted in a stable format three weeks earlier.

The Redmond, Wash. company upgraded Edge to version 80.0.361.48 on Friday, Feb. 7, just three days after Google upgraded Chrome to version 80.

Chrome and Edge each rely on Chromium, the Google-dominated open-source project responsible for creating and maintaining the browsers’ core technologies, including the rendering and JavaScript engines. Chromium set version 80 in stone in early December 2019

Since then, developers at both Google and Microsoft have been working on their versions of Chromium 80, each using a multi-stage cadence of Canary, Dev, Beta and then Stable builds to release progressively more reliable and polished code.

One question that Microsoft has not addressed is how long it would take to get from Chromium to a finished version of Edge, most importantly whether there would be a lag, and if so, how long,between Google launching Chrome and Microsoft releasing Edge. The shorter the lag, the better: Criminals could conceivably exploit a large gap by reverse engineering Chrome’s fixes for that version’s security vulnerabilities, then applying the results to a not-yet-patched Edge.

The first Chrome security update issued after Edge’s Jan. 15 launch was on Jan. 16. Microsoft delivered an update for the same vulnerabilities on Jan. 17. Although the narrow window between the two was encouraging, what was still unknown was the length of the lag between Google promoting a new version of Chrome to the Stable branch and Microsoft following suit.

That lag turned out to be only three days.

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, Google released Chrome 80.0.3987.87, with new features as well as 56 security fixes. Google listed 37 of the 56 with CVE (Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures) identifiers. Ten of the 37 were marked “High,” the second-most-serious ranking in Chrome’s (and Chromium’s) four-step rating system.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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