Google’s latest version of its Chrome Web browser, Chrome 37, was just released, and it includes a key improvement that will benefit Windows users—a move to the Windows DirectWrite API, which means that users will now see clear, high-quality text rendering even on high DPI video monitors.
The Windows DirectWrite API is now part of Chrome after being one of the top user requests for years, according to a previous eWEEK report. It’s inclusion in the latest Version 37 of Chrome was announced in an Aug. 26 post by Alex Mineer of the Google Chrome team, on the Google Chrome Releases Blog.
Before DirectWrite, Chrome used the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to render text. GDI dates back to the mid-1980s and reflects the engineering trade-offs of that time, particularly for slower, lower-resolution machines.
The new Stable version of Chrome 37 is for Windows, Mac and Linux. Also included are several new apps and extension APIs, as well as 50 security fixes and a host of performance improvements, wrote Mineer.
The release of the new Stable version means that Google also has created a new Dev Channel version so that it can be developed to eventually become Chrome 38 in the future. The Dev Channel version of Chrome 38 for Windows, Mac and Linux was announced on Aug. 26 by Matthew Yuan of the Chrome team in a post on the Google Chrome Releases Blog.
Google had unveiled the upcoming Windows DirectWrite API updates back in July when the Chrome 37 Beta version was announced, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
The Chrome 37 Beta version was unveiled just a day after the Chrome 36 Stable Web browser was released by Google, featuring several new capabilities and improvements, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Also released was a new Stable version of Chrome for Android.
The promotion of Chrome 36 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux included rich notification improvements, the addition of a browser crash recovery bubble, a Chrome App Launcher for Linux, and a wide range of stability and performance updates. Also included were 26 security fixes that were made by contributors.
The then-new Stable version of Chrome for Android Version 36 included several new features such as improved text rendering on non-mobile-optimized sites and many bug fixes and performance improvements.
The new versions continue to be part of Google’s ongoing efforts to refine and grow its Chrome browser and Chrome OS products. Google releases new experimental beta and development channels of future software releases so that they can be built, tested and updated before eventual distribution as stable release versions.
In May, Google promoted the previous Version 35 of its Chrome Web browser to the stable release channel, as well as the Version 35 releases of its Chrome OS and Chrome for Android products.
In February, Google began bumping up the enterprise management tools for its Chrome Web browser as part of an effort to drive Chrome’s increased adoption by businesses around the world. The new Chrome for Business initiative was aimed to make it easier for companies to choose Chrome for their employees. Among the new Chrome management capabilities aimed at businesses’ IT managers is a cloud-based management capability for Google Apps for Business and Education customers to make it easier for employers to allow their workers to bring in their PCs or devices for work.
In September 2013, the Chrome browser celebrated its fifth birthday. Launched in 2008 as a desktop or laptop application, Chrome today is widely used as a mobile Web browser on many different devices.
Chrome has had quite a ride since its birth. In June 2012, it surpassed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the world’s most used browser for the first time, and it has added many useful features over the years to encourage even more users to adopt it.