Anyone on Windows who's interested to find out what a cleaned-up version of Google's 64-bit version of Chrome feels like can install the beta today.
Google's 64-bit Chrome for Windows 7 and Windows 8 arrived in June, but only in less stable editions for developers under its Canary and dev channels for Chrome.
Google released the beta version on Wednesday, offering the average interested Windows user a chance to test out the new browser that's designed to take advantage of computers that can run 64-bit applications — which would include most recently-bought hardware.
But what's the advantage of running a 64-bit browser? As Google said in June, 64-bit Chrome should be faster, especially in graphics and multimedia content, and more secure since it can take advantage of Windows 8's built-in anti-exploit technology (high entropy Address Space Layout Randomisation). And, according to Google, the crash rate for render processes in 64-bit Chrome are half that of 32-bit Chrome.
While these improvements may come with the beta version released today, they weren't all there in the developer release.
Anyone interested the performance of Canary 64-bit Chrome compared to Chrome 35 — then the latest stable 32-bit Chrome on Windows — can check out ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' face-offhere. Basically, the 64-bit version was slower than 32-bit Chrome. However, that result should change with the stable release, which is due by around September.
Google's 64-bit Chrome follows Microsoft's launch of a 64-bit version of Internet Explorer 9 back in 2011, which was bundled with the 32-bit browser and really was forward-looking software to cater to 64-bit browser applications and add-ons that may be built in the future. One example was the 64-bit version of Flash.
There's no word yet from Google whether it has a 64-bit Chrome in the works for Linux or Macs.
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