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 Fran├žois 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) [Fran├žois REMY, via CNET]

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