Move over Chrome and Edge, Windows 11 has a new ARM browser

 Brave browser on Windows.
Brave browser on Windows.

What you need to know

  • Brave browser on Windows is now optimized for ARM64, promising better performance on Windows 11 on ARM PCs.

  • 2024 looks to be a promising year for Windows 11 on ARM PCs, thanks in large part to Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon X Elite processor.

  • Google released a native ARM64 version of Chrome recently, though that version is only in Canary testing for now.

Brave browser is now optimized for ARM64, giving Windows 11 on ARM users another option for browsing. The news comes amidst a surge of interest in ARM computing, thanks in large part to Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon X Elite processor.

"ARM64 Brave on Windows is now stable and offers native performance. You also get to enjoy the same features we offer on x64/x86 like Widevine, IPFS, Tor.," said Brave DevOps director Mihai Plesa.

You can download Brave through GitHub, the Microsoft Store, or Brave's website.

Google made headlines last month when it released a native ARM64 version of its Chrome browser. But Brave will beat Chrome to the punch, since the ARM-optimized version of Chrome is in Canary testing and Brave's native ARM64 version is available today.

Brave | Free at Microsoft Store

Brave browser is fast, easy to use, and works with popular extensions. It loads pages well, natively blocks ads and cross-site tracking, and makes the web feel quicker. It now has a native ARM64 version too!View Deal

Is 2024 the year of Windows 11 on ARM?

The Apple M3 and Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite X logos
The Apple M3 and Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite X logos

Microsoft has worked on an ARM version of Windows for years. While the platform has steadily improved over time, it's largely held back by hardware. There are good Windows 11 on ARM PCs, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s but Apple has a sizeable lead when it comes to ARM processors for computers. While Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 is a respectable flagship chip for productivity, the company's upcoming Snapdragon X Elite could be a game changer.

Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon X Elite can beat Apple's M2 Max and Intel's Core i9-13980HX. Leaked benchmarks back up those claims, giving hope to those who dream of a powerful Windows 11 laptop with the benefits of ARM computing.

In addition to its respective specs and leaked benchmarks, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite features a neural processing unit (NPU) that's optimized for local AI processing.

We'll have to see all of the moving parts come together in the form of an actual device showing real-world performance, but if everything develops as expected, we may finally have a Windows 11 on ARM PC that can compete with Apple's new MacBooks and powerful Windows 11 PCs with Intel or AMD processors.

A hypothetical PC with a Snapdragon X Elite inside would deliver powerful computing, local AI processing, and have excellent battery life. It would also have seamless integration with cellular and be extremely thin and light. That PC could be the "holy grail in Windows computing," as put well by our Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino when discussing the Snapdragon X Elite.

Snapdragon X Elite cinebench
Snapdragon X Elite cinebench

It isn't just the Snapdragon X Elite that could change Windows 11 on ARM in 2024. Big names are finally starting to support the platform. As mentioned above, Google Chrome has a native ARM version in testing already. We're still waiting on some apps that were promised years ago, such as the Adobe creative suite, but Chrome alone could turn the heads of other developers.

A new flagship processor and support from companies like Google could help make Windows 11 on ARM mainstream. Microsoft needs chipmakers and software developers to back ARM computing, and we may finally see that in a significant way this year.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite is set to launch in mid-2024. That gives software makers some time to optimize software for Windows 11 on ARM and the new hardware that will run the operating system.