Google and Microsoft are building Chrome for Windows 10 on ARM

Greg S

TS Evangelist

Even though it may appear to be a race between Intel and AMD to see who can build the latest and greater processor, that battle is only ongoing for x86 platforms. ARM architecture powers most mobile devices and is becoming increasingly viable for extending the battery life of laptops and tablets.

In an unlikely partnership, Google and Microsoft are working together on building an ARM-compatible version of Chrome for Windows 10. Around a month ago, a senior director at Qualcomm spread word that he personally was working on an ARM version of Chrome. Now, commits have been made to Chromium's Gerrit source code that validate the claims.

Two Microsoft developers have also been making commits to Chrome for Windows 10 on ARM. As it stands now, it appears Microsoft is willing to help out because of the reliance on Chrome for other applications. As much as Google would like to replace Microsoft Edge on more Windows 10 devices, Microsoft is still not likely willingly allow that.

Instead, Microsoft may be contributing to development so that Electron-based apps can be updated for ARM platforms. Visual Studio Code is one fairly significant tool that needs Chrome's code base to work. Skype, Slack and Node.js are also reliant on Chrome's JavaScript engine.

Microsoft and Google has always held a carefully balanced relationship given their competing offerings. Google's consideration of adding Windows 10 capabilities to the Pixelbook and potentially the new Pixel Slate could be a compromise that benefits all involved.

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TechSpot Paladin
The impression I got from this article is that Microsoft and Qualcomm are working on Chrome for Windows ARM, not Google.


TS Rookie
The impression I got from this article is that Microsoft and Qualcomm are working on Chrome for Windows ARM, not Google.
Desperation. Without a browser most people are willing to use, Windows on ARM is stillborn. Of course they still have to tackle the performance problem before it can be considered a real solution, but no Chrome, no Firefox = no go.


TS Guru
Unfortunately, x86_64 is old and inefficient and we are hard-pressed to move beyond it for now. My advice to Microsoft is to build Windows for ARM for basic use and resign to the fact that x86_64 is going to be around for awhile and it's for businesses, power users and gamers. Over the years, Windows for ARM will receive greater support, but it's just going to take a while. It may be that another subsystem layer needs to be added to facilitate a dual-use where traditional applications run off of x86 and general apps can run off of ARM. We know that AMD have ARM chips and I believe Intel do as well. It can't be too hard to use the chiplet process to come up with something. Having said all of that, it's interesting to see how the x86 platform fairs on the 7nm process and may render my previous comments obsolete. Happy Thanksgiving.