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Google's silent Chrome experiment crashes thousands of browsers and annoys IT administrators

Google left thousands of computers in companies with broken Chrome browsers this week after a silent experimental change. Business users accessing Chrome through virtual machine environments like Citrix still saw white screens on open Chrome tabs, blocked access to the browser, and stopped responding. Many IT administrators were confused about the problem as companies typically manage and control Chrome updates.

Following complaints Google had to disclose that an "experiment" was launched on stable versions of Chrome, which had changed the behavior of the browser. The experiment was performed in the background, without warning IT administrators or users about changes made by Google. Google simply flipped a switch to enable a new WebContents Occlusion feature that pauses Chrome tabs when you move other apps over them and reduces resource usage when the browser is not in use.

"The experiment / flag has been in the beta phase for about 5 months," said David Bienvenu, software engineer at Google, in a Chromium bug thread. "It was activated for Stable (eg m77, m78) via an experiment that was postponed to Chrome's release on Tuesday morning. Previously, about one percent of M77 and M78 users had reported no issues for a month. "


Google has hit the change late Thursday night after several reports of reset companies with thousands of users. "I'm going to undo the start of this experiment and try to figure out how to handle Citrix," Bienvenu said in the bug thread.

chat with our members, "said a Costco IT Administrator on the Chromium thread. "We spent the last day and a half finding out."

An IT administrator who raised the issue The Verge said, "We thought this was a dodgy thing Google Chrome can update silently without announcing anything Can Meet More Than 100,000 People on a Whim. "These concerns are reflected in hundreds of responses in the Google Support Forum, in the Bug Tracker thread, as well as on Twitter and Reddit. We have wasted valuable resources and time trying to solve problems We also wondered why Google decided to make a silent change to Chrome first, "I'm stunned by your answer," an IT administrator replied to Bienvenu's confirmation of the issues. "Do you see the effects that you have caused for thousands of us without warning or explanation? We are not your test persons. We provide professional services for Mu lti million dollar programs.

We asked Google for a comment on the Chrome issues and will update you accordingly.

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