According to a recent report, Google has an ARM variant of its Chrome browser ready to go but is purposefully holding off a release. The ARM64 app was announced at Qualcomm’s summit in December but is yet to surface.
An ARM variant of Firefox was announced alongside Chromium and is in public testing. There are obviously many things that can lead to differing release times, but Woods believes it’s due to a disagreement between the partners involved.
“There seems to be some kind of disagreement between Google and one of the other companies involved (either Qualcomm or Microsoft),” he said. “Last I heard, it will likely be resolved some time in the February timeframe.”
Not knowing the sources involved in the disclosure to Neowin, we’re unable to confirm if these reports are legitimate. However, mentions of Chrome on ARM were suspiciously absent from Microsoft’s Surface event, despite the debut of its Qualcomm powered Surface Pro X.
Thankfully, there may be some good news with the bad. Neowin believes that Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser will be on ARM long before February. Woods was told the Surface Pro X will ship with it, with Qualcomm targetting a release this month. The browser has much the same functionality as Chrome while removing much of Google’s analytics. By using Edge on Android, phone users can also get the same syncing features.
Speaking of Android, Microsoft has been making big strides in that regard, which makes the so-called ‘disagreement’ seem even more strange. The Redmond company is releasing its dual-screen Android device, the Surface Duo, in 2020, essentially ceding that Google’s OS is a better choice for phones than Windows in the current landscape. It’ll be interesting to see if more details about the rumored argument appear and whether it has anything to with Google’s Chromebooks.