Windows on ARM scores a big win with Google Chrome — is this a sign Windows 12 is coming?

Windows on ARM scores a big win with Google Chrome — is this a sign Windows 12 is coming?
(Image credit: Future)

According to a report from The Verge, a version of Google Chrome browser that works natively on Arm-powered Windows 11 machines has been seen in one of the nightly canary builds of Chrome. First spotted by Twitter (now sadly known as X) user Pedro Justo in Google's Canary channel, this development has folks wondering if this means Windows 12 is lurking somewhere not too far behind. 

Color us all surprised by this, as Chrome has never been supported natively on Arm-based Windows systems before. This is a shocking turn of events indeed, as running Chrome on a Windows Arm system has been known to be buggy, and for Google to finally address this as we eagerly await the launch of Windows 12, which is supposed to have native Arm support built in.

Is Windows 12 right around the corner? 

In the Windows on Arm world, browser options for native Arm performance have been limited. While Google offers a ChromeOS version for Arm devices, it hasn't translated that directly to Windows. Microsoft stepped in with their own native Arm64 Edge browser, built on Chromium but bypassing Google's Widevine DRM system. This left other Chromium-based browsers relying on Google's DRM, effectively making Edge the only true native Arm browser choice on Windows.

With excitment building around Qualcomms upcoming Elite X Arm-based chipset, and with the company releasing bold statements in regards to the Elite X outperforming anything from Intel, AMD, Nvidia and Apple, 2024 could turn out to be a huge year for laptops and Windows. 

However, past tech hype has burned us before. So, is this canary build just a blip, or a genuine hint that Microsoft's ambitious promises for native Arm on Windows 12 are nearing reality? It's tempting to speculate, but for now, it's wiser to keep a cautious eye on future developments before declaring Windows 12 on Arm a sure thing.

Most obsevers believe we will not see Windows 12 till at least 2025, with some guessing it could be as soon as fall of 2024, with a few hoping that when the Qualcomm Elite X system are finally launched this upcoming summer, they will come with Windows 12 preinstalled. 

We won't know till June at the earliest, but we will keep you informed as soon as we know something. 

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Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.