Google's Chrome for Windows goes 64-bit

June 4, 2014 | 12:00

Tags: #64-bit #aslr #browser #chromium #security #web-browser #windows-7 #windows-8 #windows-81

Companies: #chrome #google

Google's popular Chrome browser is now available in a 64-bit flavour for Windows users, bringing improved security, higher performance and better stability to those willing to install developer-centric software.

Although 32-bit and 64-bit binaries have been available for other operating systems for some time, Windows users have until now been stuck with a 32-bit build of Chrome. Soon, however, an improved 64-bit version of the browser will be released - and it's available now for those willing to try out a developer-centric early release of the package.

Compatible with Windows 7 and higher - and, obviously, only 64-bit versions of said operating systems - the new Chrome build offers a number of improvements over the 32-bit version. According to Google software engineer Will Harris, the 64-bit Chrome build offers a significant performance boost over the 32-bit version - up to 25 per cent in multimedia and graphics rendering. The stability is also improved, with Harris claiming a crash rate in the renderer process around half that of its predecessor. Finally, the new 64-bit build can use the High Entropy Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR) feature of 64-bit Windows 8 and 8.1 installations to make the browser less vulnerable to attack.

'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. This includes several improvements that align perfectly with Chrome’s core principles of speed, security and stability,' explained Harris of the release. 'We encourage all our users, especially developers, to give the new 64-bit Chrome a spin, and we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback so we can make 64-bit Chrome work great and bring its benefits to our Beta and Stable channel users.'

Currently, the 64-bit Windows build of Chrome is available exclusively on the Canary bleeding-edge and Developer trees. Following further testing, it will be rolled out to the Beta channel, before finally being released into the wild as the default option for users on 64-bit Windows installations.
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