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.


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