Google warns 2 billion users of update that could break websites worldwide

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Google has issued a warning to Chrome’s more than two billion users amid fears the browser’s forthcoming update will break a number of websites around the world.

The tech giant announced the news via its Chromium Bug tracker, the codebase for Chrome, and a solution to the issue is currently nowhere in sight.

It’s currently unclear what websites – and how many – are due to be affected by the problem.

Many of those that are will not likely know they’re affected until it’s already too late, experts say.

Users of Chrome should brace themselves for disruption or find another browser to use until the issue is resolved, a Forbes report said.

“Based on Google’s current release rate, Chrome Canary users could be facing this decision as soon as next month while the billions of users running the browser’s stable version are looking at a 3-6 month countdown,” the report forecasted.

NO SOLUTION IN SIGHT

According to the outlet, the source of the issue comes down to version numbers of Chrome’s software.

The official version of Chrome is currently on version 96, while ‘Chrome Canary’ — the early access developer build — is already on version 99.

When the version reaches 100, websites affected by the glitch will apparently stop loading.

“The reason for this is these sites check the version of Chrome visiting the site, but website design software like Duda only checks the first two digits,” the report, by Gordon Kelly, reads.

Google HQ
So far there is no fix for the bug that could break websites worldwide.
Getty

“The check is for security reasons to stop older, unsupported versions of Chrome from visiting (version 40 and older is a common cut-off point) and Chrome 100 will be read as ‘Chrome 10’ and blocked.”

Google has been launching new versions of its Chrome software at a startling speed in recent months.

For instance, Chrome 95 was only just released by the company in October.

GOOGLE UNDER FIRE

Google is reportedly experimenting with a hack to stem the effects of the glitch.

That hack reportedly involves altering how its version numbers are displayed to ensure “99” is displayed in the first two digits in the version 100 update.

It remains unclear whether the hack will be successful or how long it would take to implement if it was.

Chrome has been under sustained scrutiny for the last 12 months, amid data leaks, privacy concerns, and other issues.

Just this week, billions of Chrome users were urged to update certain settings to stop Google from tracking their every move.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

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