Google today released a 64-bit stable version of its Chrome browser for Windows systems. The 64-bit support has been in testing since June, and as of Chrome version 37 it has made it to the mainstream version.
The 64-bit version offers three main advantages and one possible drawback. The browser's advantages are speed, security, and stability. Google claims that certain media and graphics workloads in particular are faster with 64-bit. It offers the example of VP9 video decoding—used for some YouTube high-definition streams—being 15 percent quicker compared to 32-bit.
A total of 12 vulnerabilities have been repaired in this release, as always, some of them being discovered by external security researchers, who were also rewarded for their efforts through Google’s bug bounty program.
For a use-after-free security flaw (CVE-2014-3165) in web sockets, Google paid $2,000 / €1,500 to researcher Collin Payne; additional information about this flaw is not available at the moment.
Linux is very secure. Google's Linux-based Chrome OS, with its auto-updating and security sandboxing, is even more secure. But, neither is perfect. At Google's own Pwnium hacking contest and HP Zero Day Initiative's (ZDI) annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, three new sets of security problems were found in Chrome OS... and then immediately patched.
The new release proves controversial as Google tightens control over the browser to the anger of some users.
In terms of new features, version 33 is rather disappointing – despite debuting in the beta channel a few weeks ago, Google Now notifications have yet to make their way across to the stable channel. In fact, version 33 is little more than a bug-fix release, with 28 security fixes the only notable highlight.
VMware is teaming up with Google to bring Windows applications to Chrome OS machines.
The system will use VMware's Blast HTML5 technology to virtualise a Windows environment under Chrome OS.
With the rise in sales for the Google based operating system (OS), there has arisen a need to find a way to run traditional systems in a Chrome environment, and this represents an opportunity for enterprise users who are still tied to Windows XP, which is into its final two months of service life, to continue more or less uninterrupted without having to fear the threat of malware.