We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of native Chromium builds for Windows on Arm. Chromium offers a familiar web browsing experience for people using all Windows on Arm laptop devices. This includes the new third generation – the Microsoft Surface Pro X, Lenovo Yoga 5G, and Samsung Galaxy Book S. Because it is running natively, Chromium is about 2.2x faster than emulated browsers. It also improves battery life by 40-50 per cent.
This is available at woolyss.org who has kindly worked with Arm to help publish Chromium for Windows on Arm.
For typical users, we recommend installing the Stable release, using the mini_installer. There is a new Stable release every six weeks.
Adventurous users may like to try the beta, which gets updated more frequently than Stable (typically around once a week).
Developers may find the Canary release useful. This includes symbols so that debug tools can provide complete functionality but has limited testing.
We believe that Windows on Arm is a compelling platform for everybody – irrespective of which browser they like to use. Windows on Arm has made tremendous progress since early 2019. Here are the two key developments from Arm:
Microsoft has released a native build of Chromium-based Edge for Windows on Arm, and a native version of Firefox is available. However, we also want to do more to boost the Chromium ecosystem, catch issues quickly, and give developers an easy way to test their applications against different Chromium versions.
Some video formats are not supported, which affects some sites which use DRM or H.264. This includes Netflix, Facebook and Twitter (but YouTube works well). Unlike Chrome, Chromium does not automatically update by itself. You will need to upgrade it regularly to stay protected against security issues and receive the latest performance and feature updates. We also do not build with Google’s API keys, so Google account sign-in, bookmark synchronization, and similar features are not enabled. We are looking at ways we can address these current challenges.
We have been running Chromium for Windows on Arm internally since April 2019. Alongside this, we have also been running test infrastructure and comprehensive on-device tests since June 2019. We have found that real-world stability is good. Please note, however, that these releases do not get as much upstream testing that officially supported platforms receive. We are continuing to test and make improvements, so we expect stability to keep improving from here.
Chromium for Windows on Arm is not officially supported by Arm or Google. Arm have been involved in the Chromium community for a number of years, working on improving performance, reliability, and security. Overall, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the Chromium ecosystem to another Arm platform.
If there are any issues, please head to crbug.com/new and file an issue with “Windows on Arm” in the title, cc’ing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Native Chromium Builds for Windows on Arm available here