In a significant development for Windows on Arm, Google Chrome has taken a pivotal step by introducing native support for Arm-based processors. While Windows on Arm has faced challenges over the years, particularly in terms of application support, the arrival of a native Arm version of Google Chrome promises a potential turning point for the ecosystem.
The breakthrough was unveiled late Thursday night in the Nightly channel for Google Chrome, a developer platform known for featuring cutting-edge functionalities. This move is a clear indication that Google is gearing up to embrace the unique capabilities of Arm-based processors in its widely used browser.
Despite Microsoft already providing a native version of its Edge browser for Arm-based devices, users who preferred Google Chrome were constrained to using an emulated version, resulting in suboptimal performance. Google Chrome commands a substantial 65% market share compared to Edge’s 5%, making its adoption of native Arm support a momentous development.
The implications extend beyond the realm of browsers and have broader implications for the Windows on Arm ecosystem. The introduction of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors for Windows laptops, scheduled for launch this year, is poised to further fuel the momentum. Additionally, reports indicate that both Nvidia and AMD are in the process of developing Arm-based chips, set to hit the market next year.
This surge in interest towards Windows on Arm has gained considerable momentum since Apple’s transition to M-series chips. Apple’s adoption of Arm architecture in its Mac processors has not only showcased remarkable performance but also significantly improved battery life. The latter is a crucial aspect, particularly when contrasted with some Windows machines, such as the Asus ProArt StudioBook 16, which excel in performance but struggle in the battery life department.
The native support for Google Chrome on Arm holds particular significance considering the prevalence of applications that operate within the browser. As Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors make their way into laptops later this year, it is anticipated that more applications will follow suit, embracing native Arm compatibility. Adobe, which currently only supports native versions of Lightroom and Photoshop on Arm, remains a notable exception, and industry observers are keenly anticipating further developments in this space.
The move by Google to support Windows on Arm with a native Chrome version underscores a broader industry shift towards embracing Arm-based architecture. With Qualcomm, Nvidia, and AMD investing in Arm-based chips, a diverse range of devices powered by this architecture is expected to become more prevalent in the near future. As the landscape evolves, the collaboration between software giants like Google and hardware manufacturers paves the way for a more vibrant and competitive computing ecosystem.
In conclusion, the introduction of native Google Chrome support for Windows on Arm is a watershed moment that signals the potential mainstream acceptance of Arm-based processors. As the ecosystem continues to evolve and with the imminent launch of advanced processors, the coming months are poised to witness further transformations in the landscape of computing, with Windows on Arm at the forefront of innovation.