Google has released a stable 64-bit version of its Chrome browser for the Windows operating system.
The software has been in testing since June, but has now officially launched as part of Chrome version 37.
Google promises that the 64-bit version will offer increased speed, security and stability and uses the example of VP9 video decoding, which is used for some HD YouTube streams, being 15 per cent faster compared to 32-bit.
Security is also increased, primarily because 64-bit applications have much more memory available. This reinforces Windows' own built-in security feature, called ASLR, which makes bug exploits harder to write by randomising the location of things like DLLS in memory.
According to ArsTechnica, the search engine giant also claims that the 64-bit version is "twice as stable" as the 32-bit iteration.
However, despite all the positives, the 64-bit release does come with a slight drawback, in the short term at least.
As it does not offer support for the 32-bit NPAPI plugin API, some browser plugins will not work with the 64-bit version of Google Chrome. Current versions of Java and Silverlight have 64-bit plugins, so should be fine, but others, such as Google Earth will not be supported. Google has stated that it will remove the 32-bit NPAPI support in the future, so this is only likely to be a temporary issue.
Currently, the 32-bit version will continue as the default browser, so anyone wishing to experience the new release will have to re-download the software and choose the 64-bit edition.
The Chrome launch marks the second major browser to run a stable 64-bit version on Windows following Microsoft's Internet Explorer.