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Microsoft is preparing companies for the «stable extended» 8-week version of Edge

Microsoft is preparing companies for the "stable extended" 8-week version of Edge

By default, Edge is set to automatically receive updates every four weeks starting this year. But companies that see this pace too fast will have another option.

Microsoft has begun preparing companies that want to switch to an optional, slower version cadence for the company’s Edge browser.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Edge, which is built on the same core Chromium technologies as Google’s Chrome, will follow that rival to shorten the launch interval to four weeks. (Prior to the announcement, Chrome and Edge were updated every six to eight weeks.)

The first four-week cycle will be version 94 of Chrome and Edge. Google plans to launch Chrome 94 on September 21st, and the later version 95 will be released on October 19th. In the meantime, Microsoft will release Edge 94 on September 23rd and Edge 95 on October 21st (Microsoft used to release Edge with the same number two days after the comparable Chrome update).

Starting with version 94, Chrome and Edge will also offer what is called an «extended stable» version, which will use an eight-week window instead of the default four. Obviously, a blow to enterprise IT administrators is unhappy with the idea of ​​an accelerated discount rate, stable extended releases will appear in each peer-to-peer release. The next versions of Extended Stable will be v. 96, v. 98 and so on for Edge (and Chrome).

By default, the Edge will automatically update every four weeks. Therefore, the eight-week interval is optional, and the option requires the use of TargetChannel Group Policy, which is not yet documented by administrators or, alternatively, Intune from Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

(Organizations can also manually update Edge using Windows Server Update Services or WSUS.)

Some details on how Microsoft (or Google, by the way, since Edge and Chrome are connected hip) will keep Extended Stable safe are still cloudy.

Microsoft said last month that «major security fixes and fixes will be delivered as needed, regardless of the launch option selected,» which means that security updates for Extended Stable will continue in their current form without scheduled here. (Google never fixed Chrome on an established program, unlike, say, Microsoft and Internet Explorer or Mozilla and Firefox.)

But Google, which as the power behind Chromium should be the known team, said in March that «security updates on Extended Stable will be released every two weeks to fix major issues, but those updates won’t contain features. new or all bug fixes. . security you will receive the option of 4 weeks (emphasis added). «

Due to the longer interval between Edge Stable Extended versions, Microsoft has also changed its browser support policy. Prior to Extended Stable and still applicable to all children in the four-week Edge cycle, Microsoft provided what it called «Assisted Support» for the current version (call it N) and the previous two versions (N-1 and N-2). . Here’s an example: The current version is v. 92, so Microsoft-assisted support goes to versions 92, 91, and 90.

(Assisted support is exactly what it sounds like: when a support representative assists a user, whether by phone, chat, email, or other method of communication. Security updates for the included Chromium, Edge, and Chrome browsers are issued only for most users (current version, never for previous versions).

Extended Stable Edge, on the other hand, will only be compatible with N and N-1. When Edge 96 appears, both it and version 94 will be eligible for assisted support.