Chrome for Windows enters 64-bit era, with more speed and security

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The first 64-bit desktop microprocessor launched in 2003. A 64-bit version of Windows debuted in 2005. Now, in 2014, a 64-bit version of Google’s Chrome browser is almost here.

The open-source Chromium Project, which forms the foundation for Chrome, announced that you can now download a 64-bit version of Chrome from either the Canary or the Dev download pages, which are reserved for developers and early adopters who are not afraid of their browser crashing unexpectedly. The new version will run on either Windows 7 or Windows 8 and requires a 64-bit processor, which includes all processors from the Pentium 4 through Intel’s latest Core chips, and the vast majority of AMD’s microprocessors, as well.

“The majority of our users on Windows 7 or higher now have systems capable of running 64-bit applications, and this version of Chrome can take full advantage of these newer capabilities,” Will Harris, an engineer with the Chromium group. “This includes several improvements that align perfectly with Chrome’s core principles of speed, security and stability:”

The advantages are fairly straightforward, according to Harris. Because of improved compilers and the way that the browser handles function parameters, users should notice a speedup of about 25 percent, specifically in running Web-based applications. Security should be increased as well, he wrote. Finally, even through the browser is being released on developer channels, Harris wrote that data has shown that the 64-bit version of Chrome is even more stable than the 32-bit version; “crash rates for the renderer process (i.e. web content process) are almost half that of 32-bit Chrome,” he wrote.

While the Chrome browser is moving into the 64-bit generation, Google's Chrome OS—which is little more than a browser itself—actually moved into the 64-bit space a while back, as did Chrome for Linux.

Basically, if you’re the adventuresome type, there’s no reason not to download the 64-bit version of Chrome, especially because the “canary” version can be downloaded and run separately. Otherwise, you can rest assured that the 64-bit versions of Chrome are en route to the stable versions of Chrome—it will just take a few months.

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