A large downside to Windows PCs with Arm64 processors like Microsoft's own Surface Pro 9 5G has been a lack of native support for Chrome, the world's most popular browser. Now, Google has finally released a Chrome Canary beta version that fully supports the Arm64 architecture, Windows Central has reported.
The new version should significantly accelerate Chrome performance on Arm64 PCs, negating the need to run Chrome in emulation mode. The download can be installed on PCs running recent versions of Windows 11 for Arm processors, with one user confirming it runs on a seven-year-old Snapdragon 835 SoC.
Chrome has been available for some time on Google's Chromium on Arm64 and even Linux for Arm64, along with iOS and Mac. On top of that, Microsoft's Edge browser (which is based on Chrome) has run natively on Arm64 for years. So why the delay for Windows on Arm64? It may be because there aren't that many Arm64 Windows PCs and those that do exist are relatively expensive, especially compared to Chromebooks.
Google might be reasoning that now is a good time to introduce the feature, since Qualcomm is set to release its Snapdragon X Elite chip, a successor to the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. Based on TSMC's latest 4-nanometer tech, it's promising performance double that of some 13th-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs with a third the power draw, allowing it to better compete with Apple's latest M-series silicon.
If Windows laptops using the chip can finally deliver performance that's sadly been lacking in models to date, we may finally see them arrive in decent numbers. Snapdragon Elite X models are supposed to launch in mid-2024, so hopefully Google will be ready with a stable version of Chrome. If you have an Arm64 PC, you can download the Canary version here.