Report: Qualcomm is Working on an ARM Version of Google Chrome

Posted on October 22, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google, Windows 10 with 21 Comments

Qualcomm is allegedly working on an ARM version of the Google Chrome web browser for Windows 10 on ARM.

“We are,” Qualcomm’s Miguel Nunes said when asked by Android Authority if the firm was working to port Chrome to ARM. “We’re still working with the different [PC makers] and designs. I expect you’ll see it probably around (the) second half of next year. Every [PC maker] will decide whatever their launch timeline is, but we’re actively working on it.”

This statement requires a bit of decrypting.

The repeated references to Qualcomm’s PC maker partners suggests to me that Chrome for ARM will be something that PC makers will bundle with their new PCs. This makes sense to me, given the train wreck that is Microsoft Edge. But I assume—and hope—it doesn’t preclude Chrome for ARM being made available for free on the web. After all, any user of Windows 10 on ARM should be automatically supplied with this version when they visit the Chrome website.

Of course, this publication never thought to ask if Google was involved, so perhaps Qualcomm is working with the freely-available Chromium web browser instead. That browser is the basis for Google Chrome, and would be an acceptable substitute. But such a thing is also less interesting than “real” Chrome coming to Windows 10 on ARM. Which would, of course, require Google’s involvement.

And that’s where reality hits the fan: While Qualcomm and the PC makers that support Windows 10 on ARM absolutely have a vested interest in getting Chrome on this platform, Google does not. And Google ignoring such an unpopular platform, as it did with Windows Phone previously, unfortunately makes sense. So we’ll what’s happening. But I bet this is just Chromium and not Google Chrome.


Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (21)

21 responses to “Report: Qualcomm is Working on an ARM Version of Google Chrome”

  1. jaredthegeek

    With the dropping of apps in Chrome a Chromium browser would be acceptable to most people. I run Edge when I can, the most recent update has made a tremendous difference. I just wish they peeled it from the OS for more frequent updates, you know a more modern approach.

  2. longhorn

    We know that Chrome for ARM exists because of ARM Chromebooks. Probably Google sees WoA as a threat to Chromebooks. And they are right. Both Chromebooks and WoA are fighting over peanuts... and there aren't enough peanuts for both of them.

    A successful WoA launch including Chrome could wipe Chromebooks off the face of the earth. It's nice to see competition between giants! It's not often we see that anymore.

    • skane2600

      In reply to longhorn:

      I don't think a lot of buying decisions are based on which browser is available. Both products support the web so it would really come down to UWP apps vs. Android apps. If WoA could fully run legacy Windows programs at full speed without an increase in price, than the competition would pretty much be what it is today: full Windows vs Chromebooks.

  3. Daekar

    You know, I get that Chrome is still the cool new kid on the block with stylin' hair, but things like this really confuse me:

    "This makes sense to me, given the train wreck that is Microsoft Edge."

    Where the heck does that come from? What are these people doing that is so demanding or unusual that Edge can't hack it? I use Edge every day at work, 9 hours a day, every day, with SharePoint, web apps, and proprietary software. When there are problems, it is never a problem with the browser. Most of the time it's issues with SharePoint resources that are not fixed by using Chrome.

    I have my entire team using Edge. They never have issues.

    Where is the justification for dumpster fire status? I just don't get it.

  4. Simard57

    can the shortcomings of Edge be listed so I know what I am missing? I use Chrome exclusively and it s good enuf but maybe I am wrong - so what am I missing by not using Chrome?

  5. unfalln

    I take it that Chromium would not include any of the Google cloud features such as tab/settings syncing. This is something I imagine Paul would say is a deal breaker.

    • stmorr82zw5zml

      In reply to unfalln:

      I’m not sure what Paul perceives is a negative with Chromium. I recently installed it on Ubuntu Budgie, and for all intents and purposes, it’s identical to Chrome – including sync and pinned web apps.

  6. RM

    I think Microsoft Edge was a train wreck, but I don't see it that way anymore. Works on more company intranet sites better than Chrome and I don't have any issues with Edge on any Internet sites (not in the last ~6 months). However, good to see Chrome coming to Windows 10 ARM!

  7. FalseAgent

    Microsoft shouldn't need to rely on Google to make WoA a success. Edge is good, but it isn't Google Chrome good. And it sucks to say that Firefox doesn't meet the bar either. The easiest way to strip Google over having this kind of arbitrary power in the PC space is for someone to build a browser that works better than Chrome.

    12 years after Microsoft resumed active development of their browser with IE7, they STILL aren't as hungry or ambitious enough as Google has been with Chrome. Microsoft should have their laser pointed at Google and Chrome at all times.

    • skane2600

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      IMO Edge is a victim of the UWP approach. They released a product that the vast majority of existing Windows users couldn't install using technology that wasn't as capable as that used to program IE.

      • FalseAgent

        In reply to skane2600:

        Well it's not like Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 got any traction either anyway. The problem isn't the compatibility base.

        And I don't it's a UWP problem either, because Edge isn't like other UWP apps, it isn't limited, Microsoft can basically do anything they want with it

        • skane2600

          In reply to FalseAgent:

          Obviously if you limit the audience for your product, it's going to be adopted less. That's fundamental.

          Unless you know the internal design of Edge, you can't really say whether being a UWP app limits it or not. It certainly doesn't have all the functionality of IE whatever the reasons.

          • FalseAgent

            In reply to skane2600:

            obviously IE11 didn't get the traction they sought, and they wanted to position themselves better for the future, so they did an ockham's razor and left the past behind. The future is more "fundamental" than the past, because earlier versions of Windows will die, future versions of Windows are going to be used for much longer.

            Functionality-wise, the bar to meet is actually Chrome, which is relatively simple by design, which is what users like. And by-and-large, that is what Microsoft has done with Edge. Building Edge like IE is basically defeating the purpose of it. IE was known to be stuffed and bloated with rubbish. No one wants that.

      • longhorn

        In reply to skane2600:

        Very true.

        And now Microsoft has to reinstall Windows every time they want to update Edge. :)

        Trying to explain the crazy release schedule of Windows 10 I can think of no other reason than Edge. MS should switch Edge to MSIX packaging and make it available on all Windows platforms.

    • MutualCore

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      They could start by making Edge great.

  8. dcdevito

    This makes no sense, isn't there already an ARM version of Chrome OS? So, in theory, Google already has this....or am I misconstruing this?

  9. jimchamplin

    Chromium would be just fine, IMO.

  10. Otto Gunter

    Edge works just fine for most people. I've used it exclusively for years without issue, and I'll continue to avoid the Chrome spy portal at all costs.

  11. v_2samg

    People who still think Edge is bad are either living under a rock or are Scroogle fanboys.