Chrome, Edge, Firefox updates could prevent users from accessing certain sites


Here’s a warning for those of you who use the Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browsers. All three are going to hit a major milestone very soon that will prevent popular websites from working on them. All three browsers will soon hit version 100. And while that might seem like a nice milestone to hit, it also can cause chaos similar to the fears that set off the year Y2K panic.

Browsers about to reach version 100 (Firefox, Chrome, Edge) could cause certain sites to fail

The problem is that most websites check to see which version of a browser you are using. Many sites do not work with older browser versions for fear that they are less secure than newer versions, and this does make sense. So when these three browsers hit triple-digit version numbers, many popular websites won’t work with them. According to BGR, testing has shown that the websites that will not work with version 100 of Chrome, Firefox, and Edge will include Yahoo, Bethesda, T-Mobile, and HBO Go.

That’s because until now, only two-digit versions of these browsers have been available. And with older websites able to read only the first two digits of the version numbers, Firefox, Chrome, and Edge will appear to be using version 10 to these websites and block the affected browsers from accessing these pages.

Google and Microsoft will release the 100th version of Chrome and Edge respectively, on March 29th. Mozilla will hit the triple-digit milestone for Firefox on May 3rd, and all three companies have backup plans in place.

For example, Google plans on using a flag that will freeze Chrome at major version 99. The real major version number will appear in the minor version of the User-Agent string (the UA string is used by the webserver to determine the browser being used, the version of the browser, and the operating system employed). Thus, issues can still happen with this backup plan which is forcing Google to continue to test it.

Microsoft’s plan is unknown, and Mozilla plans on fixing broken websites by using intervention techniques to repair these sites (a hot fix, in other words). If the problems become too severe, the major version of Firefox can be frozen under the magic 100 mark.

If you want to switch to a unaffected browser, personally, this writer has found that on iOS, Opera Browser works well and it was my default browser when the iPhone 11 Pro Max was my daily driver. Now that I’m back using Android 12 on my Pixel 6 Pro, I love the Samsung Internet Browser (which also was my favorite when I used the Pixel 2 XL).
Remember how everyone expected the worse when 1999 turned into 2000? None of the doomsday scenarios came true and outside of a few minor issues, everything went quite smoothly. Something similar no doubt will occur here with much hand-wringing to be replaced with comments like, “I knew that there was nothing to worry about!”

But it does seem a bit odd that Firefox, Edge, and Chrome are all going to hit version 100 so close together time-wise, so what could be the reason for that? An amazing cosmic coincidence? A plan devised by Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft over a decade ago?

The “version 100” issue might remind you of the fears over Y2K

One possibility is that the trio is forcing web developers to upgrade in order to accept the triple-digit version numbers. Some developers have already done this, but others haven’t. You can get a look at some other websites that aren’t prepared for triple-digit version numbers by opening this tracker.

You’ll see that Germany’s Daimler.de page doesn’t support version 100 of Edge. Petalmail.com won’t work with version 100 of Firefox and Chrome. And Brownells.com will not work on version 100 of Chrome and Firefox.

These are just some more of the sites that will be impacted. Hopefully, the plans that will be put in place by Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla will correct this issue.

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