Google, on Wednesday, released a long-awaited stable 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Moreover, the regular 32-bit edition has been upgraded to Chrome version 37 for Windows, Mac, and Linux with changes like better-looking fonts on Windows and an overhauled password manager.
Users who are running a 64-bit version of Windows on their desktops have to opt to download the ‘Windows 64-bit’ version. It is available for download at google.com/chrome. Google launched the first Dev and Canary versions of the Chrome browser back in June, and later updated it to Beta status in July. Now, that Chrome for Windows 64-bit is finally available in a stable channel Google notes that it has improved speed on many of its graphics and media benchmarks.
The search giant says the 64-bit of Chrome version is faster because it leverages optimisations made to processors and compilers, and has a modern instruction set compared to the 32-bit edition. It is also more secure. But, despite being more stable, Google states that there might a few issues, of which the most significant one being no support for 32-bit NPAPI plugin.
Coming to the stable Chrome 37 update for Windows, Mac and Linux, the official changelog provided by Google lists the following tweaks:
- DirectWrite support on Windows for improved font rendering.
- A number of new apps/extension APIs.
- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.
The most important change is the DirectWrite support because the switch from Graphics Device Interface (GDI), introduced by Microsoft in the 1980s, actually brings better looking fonts and increases rendering without tinkering by developers. This change is only active for Windows users. Interestingly, as noted by ComputerWorld, Microsoft had introduced the DirectWrite API with Windows 7 in 2009, and inclusion of DirectWrite in Chrome has been one of the top-requests by developers – with an entry in the Chromium bug tracker filed as far back as 5 years ago. Notably, Firefox and Internet Explorer have been using the DirectWrite API from 2011, with Firefox 4 and IE11.
In Chrome 37, Google has revamped the UI of the password manager slightly. When the user enters the login page of the website, a key appears in the search bar with a list of saved passwords for that particular website. In the revamped UI, this key replaces the bar that appears at the top asking to save a username and password after entering it for the first time.
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