Surprising Fourth Build of Chrome 66 Released to The Chrome OS Stable Channel

A surprising and almost unheard of fourth stable channel release for Chrome OS has landed.  The release to build 66.0.3359.203 (Platform version: 10452.99.0), based on Chrome 66, comes just days before the anticipated update to Chrome 67 in the Chrome OS Stable Channel.  It comes two weeks after a rare 3rd build in the channel.

The reasoning behind the fourth update is not known and the notoriously cryptic release notes from the Chromium team within Google aren’t much help in solving the mystery.  They merely state the generic, “This build contains a number of bug fixes and security updates“.  There isn’t even a link to the Git for the release.

In all likelihood the team found a show stopping bug in the last build – which was probably the reason behind it too – and wanted to get it pushed out to users prior to the release of Chrome 67.  For those new to the platform, the Chrome OS Stable Channel traditionally gets two builds.  The first is for non-Android app running devices while the second is for Android app running Chromebooks and Chromeboxes.  Very rarely is there a 3rd release into the channel and frankly, I can’t recall the last time there was a 4th.  It’s rare indeed.

The interesting background to all of this is, of course, the impending release of Chrome 67 for Chrome OS.  That is expected to happen next week, on June 5th.  That lends more credence to the fact that this fourth release of Chrome 66 is a stop-gap release for a significant security or performance issue.

At the time of this post, I had not yet received the .203 on my Google Pixelbook.  Google indicated that it would take up to three days to get the update and looking at the Omaha proxy, it looks like indeed that most devices are going to get this update.  It is just a matter of when.