Google Chrome is Now Native on ARM Windows PCs

Google Chrome won’t run in x86 emulation on ARM-based Windows laptops anymore.

Google Chrome is Now Native on ARM Windows PCs

Microsoft has been selling Windows 10 and Windows 11 PCs with ARM chips instead of x86 processors for years now, but there are still many popular applications not ported to ARM, including Google Chrome. That is finally changing.

Google announced today that Google Chrome for ARM Windows PCs will start rolling out this week. The next major Chrome update isn’t due until April 16th, so the ARM version will seemingly roll out as an update to Chrome 123, which arrived last week. The browser will now run natively on ARM Windows computers, such as the Surface Pro X, Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Go, and Surface Pro 9 5G.

The new ARM version is (unsurprisingly) faster than previous versions of Chrome on ARM Windows devices, which had to be translated from x86 to ARM instructions in real time. Google and Qualcomm didn’t offer any specific test results, though, only saying it “provides a dramatic performance improvement over previous versions.” Presumably, it’s about as fast as other Chromium browsers that were already native on Windows ARM PCs, such as Microsoft Edge.

Google started publishing Chromium builds for ARM Windows back in January, but it took a few more months for the port to be ready for everyone. Several other browsers already have ARM-native versions, including Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Brave Browser. The slow performance of Chrome has been a constant criticism of ARM Windows PCs since the first Windows 10-powered models arrived in 2018. The first ARM-powered Chromebook arrived in 2012, and Chrome has been available on ARM-based Android phones and tablets since 2012, but Google still took a while to support the architecture on Windows.

The rollout is coming a few months ahead of the first laptops with ARM Snapdragon X Elite chipsets, which will arrive in the middle of 2024. Qualcomm’s new chip is expected to be more comparable to Apple’s M1 and M2 hardware, though we’ll have to wait and see if the hype is justified. NVIDIA and AMD are also reportedly working on ARM-based chips for use in Windows PCs, which would also benefit from a native version of Chrome.

Source: Google

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