Microsoft Joins The Khronos WebGL Working Group
Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 11 August 2014 at 11:01 AM EDT. 36 Comments
As some surprising news this morning beyond the Khronos Group working on a new, next-generation API to succeed OpenGL in its current form, Microsoft is back to investing in GL.

Neil Trevett, the VP of the Mobile Developer Ecosystem at NVIDIA and also serves as the President of the Khronos Group, confirmed that Microsoft has joined the Khronos Group's WebGL working group. Microsoft in past years has generally distanced itself from "GL" in favor of their own Direct3D API. Microsoft was originally a member of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, but they've been out of that position for more than one decade with just pushing DirectX on Windows and leaving Windows OpenGL support as a bastard child.

The WebGL Working Group is tasked with developing future revisions of this JavaScript API for 3D graphics in modern web browsers. Among other participants to the WebGL Working Group are Google, Apple, and Mozilla.


Microsoft joining the WebGL working group is an interesting step and hopefully will lead to some open, welcomed contributions from the company that's generally frowned at by Linux fans. Of course, the Web Graphics Library is still distanced from upstream OpenGL development itself -- the current WebGL specification is based on OpenGL ES 2.0 while WebGL 2 is based on OpenGL ES 3.0. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft wishes to get involved with the working group for the next-gen OpenGL API working group and other Khronos cross-platform, royalty-free APIs.

Microsoft currently offers partial support for WebGL with Internet Explorer 11 and only as of a few months ago is it passing most of the Khronos WebGL reference tests. WebGL for older versions of Internet Explorer are provided by third-party plug-ins.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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