WebGL: Interwebs 3D tech emerges from puberty
Google. Mozilla. Opera. Apple.
WebGL – the emerging standard that provides hardware-accelerated 3D inside the browser – has reached the 1.0 milestone.
WebGL is currently supported by the stable version of Google's Chrome browser, Mozilla's Firefox 4 beta, a preview version of Opera, and the nightly builds of WebKit, the basis for Apple's Safari browser. You also find it in Mozilla's Firefox 4 mobile beta for Android and the still-gestating Chrome OS, Google's browser-based operating system for netbooks.
It is not supported by the latest version of Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft does hardware acceleration through DirectX on Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines. But Google provides WebGL support inside Internet Explorer via its Chrome Frame plugin, a piece of software that turns a Microsoft browser into a Google browser.
In addition to desktops and notebooks, OpenGL is supported by smartphones – including the iPhone and various Android phones – game consoles, media players, and other embedded devices.
Update: This story has been updated to clarify the situation with OpenGL and Windows machines. Windows machines generally ship with OpenGL hardware, but not OpenGL drivers.