Google Chrome is reportedly coming for Windows on ARM next year

One of the biggest drawbacks to Windows 10 on ARM is that most of your favorite apps have to run through emulation. And the biggest app to do that is Google's Chrome browser. According to an interview by Android Authority with Qualcomm's senior director of product management Miguel Nunes though, Google will be compiling Chrome for ARM PCs and the product will be available in the second half of 2019.

“We are,” Qualcomm senior director of product management Miguel Nunes told Android Authority on the sidelines of Arm TechCon. “We’re still working with the different OEMs and designs. I expect you’ll see it probably around (the) second half of next year. Every OEM will decide whatever their launch timeline is, but we’re actively working on it.”

If this does happen, you'll probably still have to jump through a few hoops to get it. For one thing, don't expect Chrome to show up in the Microsoft Store. Under the current rules, any browser in the Store needs to use the EdgeHTML rendering engine, which is why Chrome isn't there right now.

That also means that it won't be available in S mode. As of right now, all Windows on ARM devices ship in S mode, so you'll have to upgrade (for free) to a full version of Windows, which is the same as you currently have to do to run Chrome.

Google Chrome does work on ARM PCs, although not very well. It's an app that's compiled for x86 processors, emulated to run on ARM. There's also a lot of JIT (just in time) code that's compiled with Chrome, and that doesn't play nice with the emulation.

At Build this year, Microsoft released an ARM64 SDK, which allows developers to recompile their apps for 64-bit ARM processors. This isn't just for UWP apps, as any Win32 app can be recompiled, although a more complicated app like Chrome might require more adjustments.

It would be really good news for Windows 10 on ARM, although it's not likely to change the landscape of S mode unless Microsoft changes its current rules.

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