Microsoft has made changes to their Microsoft Edge for Enterprise stable channel browser which will allow organizations to select the release cycle that best suits the organization’s tolerance for upgrade frequency and time between new versions.
This change only impacts organizations that peg their browser updates to the Stable channel of the chromium-based browser. Any organizations that participate in pre-release testing for Microsoft Edge in the Canary (daily updates), Developer (weekly updates), and Beta (six-week update cycle) channels will not see any differences in release cadence for those development channels.
When Microsoft Edge for Enterprise was made available as a stable release back in January 2020, it also adopted the six-week update cycle used by the Beta channel. That sequence of releases remained the norm until March, when the cadence shifted to four week intervals to match a new major release cycle announced by Google for the Chromium Project.
Microsoft then announced the addition of an Extended Stable channel for those organizations that prefer a lengthier browser update cycle. This new release option makes Stable channel updates available every eight weeks.
Microsoft Edge Stable and Extended Stable Release Cycles
Here is how Microsoft Edge for Enterprise builds will get released based on either a four-week or eight-week release cadence:
The new Microsoft Edge Stable channel release schedule will go into effect with Version 94 of Microsoft Edge for Enterprise in the Stable channel. According to Microsoft, those releases every eight weeks will be the even numbered versions of Microsoft Edge for Enterprise.
Features that are added in the odd-numbered version updates will be made available in the Extended Stable channel with the next even numbered update. However, in between those even-numbered releases, any security patches and other fixes will be shipped in real time.
Managing the Microsoft Edge for Enterprise Update Channel
Opting into the Extended Stable release channel for Microsoft Edge for Enterprise is controlled via group policy or in Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM), if that is used for endpoint management in the organization.
If no policy is established for Microsoft Edge updates, then it will default to the four-week Stable channel.
Support Cycle for Microsoft Edge for Enterprise Updates
The four-week or eight-week release cycles mean a change in the overall support cycle for Microsoft Edge for Business.
The most recent four-week Stable build along with the two previous Stable updates will receive support from Microsoft. That is a total of twelve weeks of support for the Stable channel.
The most recent eight-week Extended Stable build plus one previous Extended Stable release will receive support from Microsoft. That will mean sixteen weeks of support in total for the Extended Stable channel.
Version 94 of Microsoft Edge, which is expected to be generally available in September, is the first build that will enter this new release and support cycle.