Google today launched a new developer build of Chrome and, together with this, the company also introduced the first 64-bit flavor of the browser aimed at Windows users.Currently part of the Dev and Canary channels, Chrome 64-bit only works on Windows 7 and Windows 8 and makes use of Microsoft's technologies in these two operating systems to deliver enhanced performance and better security to adopters.
Interestingly, Google has also developed a system that automatically serves users running compatible versions of Windows the 64-bit flavor, while the 32-bit package is only available as an optional download for those who want to get it manually.
Now whenever you load the Google Chrome developer website, the page states that the served build works only on Windows 7 and 8 64-bit, but “you can also download Chrome for Windows 32-bit, OSX or Linux.”
A post on the Chromium page provides more details on this fresh release, stating that the 64-bit version of Chrome benefits from enhanced speed thanks to the advantages of new processor technology.
“64-bit allows us to take advantage of the latest processor and compiler optimizations, a more modern instruction set, and a calling convention that allows more function parameters to be passed quickly by registers. As a result, speed is improved, especially in graphics and multimedia content, where we see an average 25% improvement in performance,” Will Harris, software engineer and stretcher of pointers, explained.
At the same time, thanks to new security enhancements in Windows 8, the 64-bit version of Chrome is also more secure than the other builds, which clearly makes it the preferred choice for users running compatible systems.
“With Chrome able to take advantage of the latest OS features such as High Entropy ASLR on Windows 8, security is improved on 64-bit platforms as well. Those extra bits also help us better defend against exploitation techniques such as JIT spraying, and improve the effectiveness of our existing security defense features like heap partitioning,” Harris noted.
Just as expected, stability has also been enhanced, with crash rates of the 64-bit said to be reduced by 50% compared to the standard development versions of Chrome.
If you're already running the 32-bit build of the browser but you're planning to get the fresh 64-bit release, there's no need to back up your data. The installer copies all files, imports your bookmarks and settings, and replaces the 32-bit data you no longer need.
The new 64-bit version of Chrome can be found in the Google Dev and Canary channels.