A native version of Chrome arrives for Arm-based Windows PCs

Google is releasing an optimized version of its Chrome browser for Windows on Arm this week, the search giant has announced alongside chipmaker Qualcomm. The official release comes two months after an early version of the browser was spotted in Chrome’s Canary channel. Qualcomm says the release “will roll out starting today.”

The release will be a big deal for any Chrome users with Windows machines powered by Arm-based processors, who’ll now have access to a much faster native browser. That’s in contrast to the x64 version of Chrome they’ve previously had to run in an emulated state with slow performance. Arm-based users have previously been able to turn to Microsoft’s Edge, which is already available for Windows on Arm devices.

Today’s announcement comes ahead of the launch of Qualcomm’s latest Arm-based processors for Windows, dubbed Snapdragon X Elite, which are expected to arrive this summer with some big performance promises to live up to. Google’s Arm-optimized version of Chrome will technically run on any Arm-based Windows PC, regardless of processor manufacturer, but Qualcomm is the only one making Arm-based processors for Windows right now.

“We’ve designed Chrome browser to be fast, secure and easy to use across desktops and mobile devices,” said Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer. “Our close collaboration with Qualcomm will help ensure that Chrome users get the best possible experience while browsing the web on current Arm-compatible PCs.” 

This isn’t the first time Google has released an Arm-optimized version of Chrome, having released a native version of its browser for Apple’s Arm-based Macs in 2020. The search giant has also long supported Arm-based processors for Chromebooks in ChromeOS. But the release of a native Arm-based version of the world’s most popular browser for Windows could offer a significant boost for Windows on Arm in a year when consumer-focused Surface devices are expected to switch fully to Arm.

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