Google’s quiet Chrome experiment crashes 1000’s of browsers and angers IT admins – The Verge

Google’s quiet Chrome experiment crashes 1000’s of browsers and angers IT admins – The Verge

Google left 1000’s of machines in corporations with broken Chrome browsers this week, following a quiet experimental alternate. Industry users having access to Chrome via virtual machine environments adore Citrix kept seeing white monitors on delivery Chrome tabs, blocking access to the browser and leaving it completely unresponsive. It left many IT admins at a loss for phrases over the sphere, as corporations on the final prepare and regulate Chrome updates.

After complaints, Google became as soon as compelled to expose it had launched an “experiment” on stable versions of Chrome that had modified the browser’s behavior. The experiment became as soon as made silently, with out IT admins or users being warned about Google’s adjustments. Google had simply flipped the swap on a flag to enable a contemporary WebContents Occlusion characteristic that’s designed to slump Chrome tabs whereas you occur to circulate other apps on high of them and decrease resource usage when the browser isn’t in use.

“The experiment / flag has been on in beta for ~5 months,” explained David Bienvenu, a tool engineer at Google, in a Chromium malicious program thread. “It became as soon as turned on for stable (e.g., m77, m78) by strategy of an experiment that became as soon as pushed to launched Chrome Tuesday morning. Earlier than that, it had been on for roughly one % of M77 and M78 users for a month with out a reports of considerations, sadly.”


Google rolled lend a hand the alternate leisurely on Thursday night, following a couple of reports from corporations with 1000’s of users affected. “I’ll rollback the initiate of this experiment and strive to resolve out study the solution to handle Citrix,” infamous Bienvenu in the malicious program thread.

“This has had a large impact for all our Name Center agents and no longer being in a position to declare with our people,” explained a Costco IT admin in the Chromium thread. “We spent the rest day and a half attempting to resolve this out.”

One IT admin that alerted The Verge to the scenario talked about “we felt that right here’s a shady thing that Google can update Chrome silently with out announcing one thing and might possibly presumably impact 100,000+ of us on a whim.” Those concerns are mirrored by thousands of replies on Google’s make stronger discussion board, the malicious program tracker thread, and on Twitter and Reddit.

It has left IT admins exasperated that they’ve wasted precious resources and time on attempting to fix considerations of their atmosphere, and questions over why Google decided to invent a quiet alternate to Chrome in the first divulge. “I’m tormented by your response,” talked about one IT admin in response to Bienvenu’s confirmation on the considerations. “Attain you see the impact you created for 1000’s of us with none warning or explanation? We’re no longer your take a look at subject issues. We are operating skilled products and companies for multi million dollar packages.”

We’ve reached out to Google for comment on the Chrome considerations, and we’ll update you accordingly.

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November 15, 2019

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