surprise! Google Chrome natively supports Windows on Arm

Google appears to be preparing a version of its popular Chrome browser for Windows on Arm. Pedro Justo Browser-native build for Windows 11 Arm devices discovered in latest Chrome nightly build canary strait.

Google’s release of Chrome Canary for Windows on Arm came as a surprise, and we’ve reached out to the company to clarify when it plans to bring it to the stable channel. I have installed and tested the Canary version to verify it is the ARM64 version.

ARM64 native version of Chrome on Windows 11.
Screenshot by Tom Warren/The Verge

While Microsoft has long supported the Arm version of its Edge browser, which is also based on Chromium, Google only showed signs of supporting Windows on Arm this week. This means that Windows devices running on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chips must run Chrome in an emulated state, resulting in sluggish performance.

The differences between the Edge ARM64 version and the regular x86 version of Chrome running on Windows on Arm devices are significant. The native version of Edge on Arm devices feels like any other Intel machine, but the slowdowns and performance issues with Chrome on Windows Arm are noticeable.

Google has long supported Arm processors on its Chromebooks, offering a version of ChromeOS optimized for Qualcomm chips. Microsoft was able to launch its own ARM64 version of Edge because the software maker used Chromium’s basics to build the new browser without the need for Google’s Widevine digital rights management (DRM) system. Other browser vendors also use Chromium, Always insist on using Google’s DRM Therefore, the choice of native Arm browser on Windows is actually Edge.

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