Running a 64-bit version of Windows? If so, you can’t have helped but noticed there’s been a lack of native 64-bit support in Google Chrome — until now.
Google has today announced native 64-bit builds of Chrome for Windows 7 and 8, albeit restricted to those running development and Canary channels.
Sharing the news, Google Software Engineer Will Harris says that the majority of Chrome users already run systems primed for 64-bit applications. By switching to compatible builds these folks will be able to benefit from a ‘faster and more secure browsing experience’.
Harris touts performance improvements of up to 25% in graphics and multimedia content handling, as well as a ‘marked increase in stability’ over the browser’s 32-bit counterpart.
“Crash rates for the renderer process (i.e. web content process) are almost half that of 32-bit Chrome,” he writes.
By being able to leverage the full hardware capabilities of the underlying system, peppier performance gains are to be expected.
Chrome has offered 64-bit builds on Linux since around 2009. Mac users are currently still waiting, despite Apple’s own browser Safari being available in 64-bit since 2009.
Download Google Chrome 64-bit for Windows
Like all development features, Google is first introducing 64-bit support to Chrome on Windows through the developer and Canary channels. Developers are being invited to try the builds for size and offer feedback so that 64-bit support is rock solid by the time it filters on down to the beta and stable channels.
To download Google Chrome 64-bit head over to the respective Canary or Dev download page.
I recommend using the Canary Channel. While a little more raw (read: buggier) than Dev it can safely run alongside a regular, stable version of Chrome — meaning if Canary goes beak-up your settings, bookmarks, etc. will remain unaffected. For more on why Canary is pretty awesome see our earlier article.