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Chrome for Mac to desert early Intel Mac owners by October

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 1, 2014
Google yesterday advanced its 64-bit Chrome browser to beta status, and told owners of the very earliest Intel-based Macs that they would soon be left behind.

"Those few users with first-generation Intel Macs will miss out on the fun, but as we bid them farewell, we'll remind them that they'll still be able to run the latest version on the stable channel, Chrome 37," said Mentovai.

Apple announced the switch from the PowerPC line of processors to Intel CPUs in early 2005, and started to sell Intel-based Macs in January 2006. The first-generations of Intel Macs relied on 32-bit processors, but by August 2007, the transition to 64-bit was complete.

Thus, Macs sold by Apple from January 2006 to August 2007 at the latest will not be able to run the 64-bit Chrome. (Individual models made the 32-bit to 64-bit at different times: The MacBook Pro, for instance, went 64-bit in June 2007, while the less-expensive MacBook switched to 64-bit in November 2006.)

OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, which was released in August 2009, was the last edition that supported 32-bit Intel Macs. Snow Leopard has resisted retirement more than any other recent edition of OS X — in July it still ran on an estimated 13% of all Macs — for a variety of reasons, including the fact it was the newest to work on the older 32-bit hardware.

The Beta build of Chrome 64-bit for OS X can be downloaded from Google's website.


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