Google Chrome’s private experiment crashes thousands of corporate computer browsers

Google this week “built” thousands of corporate computers that have problems with Chrome, after private experimental changes. Business users who access Chrome through virtual machine environments such as Citrix recently discovered that open Chrome tabs are white and completely unresponsive. Because businesses often manage and control Chrome updates, many IT administrators are confused about this issue.

Google Chrome's private experiment crashes thousands of corporate computer browsers

Following the complaint, Google revealed that it had launched an “experiment” on a stable version of Chrome that changed the browser’s behavior, which was conducted in silence and did not warn IT administrators or users about Google’s changes. The problem is primarily related to the enabled WebContents Occlusion feature, which is designed to pause the Chrome tab when other apps move to the top of the desktop and reduce resource usage when you are not using a browser.

“The experiment/flag has been in beta for about 5 months,” Google’s software engineer David Bienvenu explained in the Chromium error report post. The experiment (which was released to Chrome on Tuesday morning) has been running steadily since (e.g. m77, m78). ”

Google quickly withdrew the change late Thursday local time after thousands of users at a large number of businesses were affected by the release of multiple reports. “We’re going to roll back this experiment and try to figure out how to handle the solution in the Citrix virtual machine environment,” Bienvenu added. ”

“This has had a huge impact on all of our call center agents, and we can’t connect with our customers,” Costco’s IT administrator explained in a Chromium forum post. “We spent the last day and a half trying to solve the problem. ”

Another IT administrator said: “We think this is a shameful thing, and Google can silently update Chrome without announcing anything and could immediately affect thousands of people.” These concerns are reflected in hundreds of responses from Google’s support forums, including Twitter and Reddit off-site.

It administrators are angry that they are wasting valuable resources and time trying to fix problems and questioning why Google decided to make silent changes to Chrome. Responding to Bienvenu’s confirmation of the question, an IT administrator said: “I was shocked by your response. “Without any warning or explanation, did you see the impact on thousands of people?” We’re not your test rat, we’re providing professional services for multimillion-dollar solutions. “

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