Google announced the launch of 64-bit support for the company's Chrome browser, along with two new 64-bit Dev and Canary channels for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8, with the aim of providing a faster and safer Internet experience for its users.

However, a 64-bit for the stable version of Google Chrome is not yet available.

"The majority of our users on Windows 7 or higher now have systems capable of running 64-bit applications, and this version of Chrome can take full advantage of these newer capabilities," wrote software engineer Will Harris on The Chromium Blog.

The improvements that Google made with its 64-bit version of Chrome aligns with the browser's core principles of speed, security and stability, Harris added.

The 64-bit version of Chrome will be able to fully utilize the latest computer technology, instruction set and calling convention, allowing for improvements in speed, especially in the processing of multimedia and graphics. Google expects of an average of 25 percent improvement in this area.

Chrome will also be able to use the latest security features of Windows 8 such as High Entropy ASLR, improving security for the browser's users. The 64-bit version also provides better defense against threats such as JIT spraying and improves the functions of the browser's current security features such as heap partitioning.

The 64-bit version of Chrome also has a notable increase in stability over its 32-bit counterpart, with crash rates for the new browser at almost half that of the old browser.

The transition to a 64-bit version was previously difficult because of incompatibilities with plugins such as Java by Oracle and Flash by Adobe Systems. However, because Google has decided to retire support for NPAPI, which is the interface that these plugins use, the complication will be minimized. Chrome extensions, such as those developed using the company's Native Client platform, will have no difficulty in the transition.

"All existing extensions and Native Client content should work without issue," said Google spokeswoman Veronica Navarrete. "64-bit NPAPI plugins like Oracle Java and Microsoft Silverlight work as well. However, 32-bit NPAPI plugins are not supported, and we will not be adding support because we plan on removing NPAPI entirely at the end of this year." 

Google is currently developing a 64-bit Chrome for Apple's Mac computers. Firefox has a 64-bit version for OS X and Linux, Internet Explorer rolled out a 64-bit browser with version 10, and Safari launched a 64-bit version in 2009.

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