Chrome Officially Arrives on Windows-on-Arm Laptops This Week

This week marks a significant milestone with the official release of Google’s Chrome for Windows-on-Arm laptops, aligning with the much-anticipated debut of Snapdragon X Elite-powered notebooks equipped with Microsoft’s operating system.

Previously, Windows-on-Arm users faced the dilemma of either running Chrome via x64 emulation—with its notable performance compromises—or switching to alternatives like Microsoft Edge. This scenario is poised to change, thanks to Google’s introduction of a native Chrome version specifically designed for Windows on Arm.

“Our mission with Chrome has always been to deliver a browser that is not only fast and secure but also easy to use regardless of the device,” expressed Hiroshi Lockheimer, a prominent figure at Google. “Our partnership with Qualcomm Technologies is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the Chrome browsing experience for users on current Arm-compatible PCs.”

After its initial phase as an experimental feature within the Canary Windows release, a fully-fledged version is now rolling out. Qualcomm has highlighted the performance leaps over its predecessor, emphasizing a substantial elevation in user experience previously hampered by emulation drawbacks.

Though specifics were not disclosed, Qualcomm’s reference to a “dramatic performance improvement” in the Speedometer 2.1 benchmark suggests significant advancements, underlining the pivotal role of native Chrome support on Arm architectures.

The advent of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite Windows laptops surfaces amid longstanding challenges related to software availability on Windows on Arm. Despite Microsoft’s successful OS porting efforts, the perceived lack of incentive for developers to adapt their Windows applications for Arm’s architecture has constrained the ecosystem’s growth. This dynamic is anticipated to shift with Qualcomm’s latest innovation.

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon heralded a transformative era for the personal computing sector, intimating that the Snapdragon X Elite might disrupt the predominantly x64 and Apple-dominated market. “We are at the verge of a pivotal transition within the PC industry,” Amon remarked, suggesting that Qualcomm’s new product could catalyze broader support for Windows on Arm.

The narrative surrounding Snapdragon X Elite’s expected performance raises an interesting point regarding the necessity of a native Chrome port, given the potential for smooth operation under emulation. Nonetheless, the decision to release a dedicated desktop Chrome app for Arm-based Windows further enriches the ecosystem and mirrors Google’s earlier move to accommodate Apple’s Arm-compatible Macs.

While Chrome represents just a single application, its native integration fundamentally boosts the Windows-on-Arm platform, diminishing reliance on alternatives like Edge. Prospective Snapdragon X Elite users can now look forward to a more versatile and robust browsing experience, marking a significant stride forward for the Windows-on-Arm initiative.

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