Google Chrome 100 Release Could Cause Problems For Older Websites (Forbes article, I’ve linked to Wayback Machine version to spare you the cookie banner.)
Google revealed the news via its Chromium Bug tracker, the codebase for Chrome, confirming that the browser’s next major landmark release is set to break a number of websites around the world. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
The problem boils down to version numbers. The official build of Chrome is currently on version 96, while ‘Chrome Canary’ — the early access developer build — is already on version 99. When Chrome hits 100, affected websites will stop loading.
The reason for this is these sites check the version of Chrome visiting the site, but a significant number of website design suites only check the first two digits. 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.
Finding a fix is tricky and time is running out. From the perspective of website owners, many will not know they are affected until it is too late with potentially significant fallout. From Google’s perspective, Chrome also continues to race through version numbers as the company develops its browser at a breakneck pace. For example, Chrome 95 only launched in October.
Google Chrome Canary is already on version 99
This may well affect any other browsers based on Chromium, such as Vivaldi and Brave.
What a mess. You’d think that software developers would have learnt from the Y2K debacle to not cut corners when storing and checking values like dates and version numbers. (Allegedly, one of the reasons Microsoft went from Windows 8 to Windows 10 was because many apps / websites would have taken ‘9’ to mean Windows 95/98.)