Leaked Internet Explorer 11 Features Rudimentary WebGL Support

Microsoft’s adoption of HTML5/JavaScript for Windows 8 app development was a big step for the company, but seeing that hardware-acceleration will be a huge part of the web’s future, Internet Explorer’s lack of support for WebGL, the browser implementation of OpenGL, is still a major stumbling block. This could change, however, going by the latest leaked build of IE11.

Belgian Microsoft Student Partner François Remy recently poked around inside the build and discovered, among many things, interfaces for the cross-platform 3D graphics API. Unfortunately, Remy failed to get any WebGL content running to test the functionality, but another intrepid user discovered that a registry hack was all that was needed to make it operational.

Even then, it’s not a complete implementation, as it only supports a subset of High Level Shader Language (HLSL) called IESL, which means it can’t run a majority of WebGL content currently available.

Whether Microsoft will ship IE11 with WebGL support is unknown, but the fact it’s working on building it into the browser makes total sense. I doubt it can convince the other major browser vendors to take up Direct3D — despite Firefox support DirectWrite for font rendering — and forcing developers to code up their content with both WebGL and Direct3D paths would be an even bigger ask.

Internet Explorer 11’s leaked build (new features) [François REMY, via CNET]

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