Google this week announced the first pre-release versions of its Google Chrome web browser that provide 64-bit support for what the company says is a faster and more secure and stable browsing experience. 64-bit support will be added to mainstream versions of Chrome in the future.

"The majority of our users on Windows 7 or higher now have systems capable of running 64-bit applications, and this version of Chrome can take full advantage of these newer capabilities," Google's Will Harris writes in the Chromium Blog. "This includes several improvements that align perfectly with Chrome's core principles of speed, security and stability."

According to Google, advantages of 64-bit Chrome include:

Speed. 64-bit Chrome is 25 percent faster than today's Chrome, Google says, thanks to new processor and compiler optimizations, a more modern instruction set, and the like.

Security. Security is improved on 64-bit platforms as well, Google notes, thanks to better defenses against exploitation techniques.

Stability. Google says that 64-bit Chrome is much more stable than today's 32-bit version, with crash rates the renderer process almost half that of 32-bit Chrome.

If you want to see what it's like, you can get 64-bit support from Chrome's Canary or Dev channels (as opposed to the Beta or Stable channels). I might just try this out: Google says that the 64-bit version will replace whatever Chrome version you're currently using, but will preserve all your settings and bookmarks. And there's no need to uninstall your current Chrome first.