So you thought Microsoft is lonely at the Top with DirectX accelerated IE9 web-browser? Well, not for long. Google announced a new project yesterday for Chrome that will let the browser run a wider range of 3D graphics content without downloading additional drivers.
ANGLE or Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine, is an Open Source Project to make it possible to run WebGL, a driverless API to DirectX 9. The project is still-developing cross-platform Web standard for accessing low-level 3D graphics hardware based on the OpenGL ES 2.0 API that can be implemented directly in a browser without a plugin.
WebGL is implemented in many browsers but has direct dependency on OpenGL drivers on each Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. On the other hand, the competing graphics API is Microsoft’s Direct3D, which is part of the company’s DirectX graphics technologies. Microsoft’s DirectX technologies have increasingly become dominant in PC gaming and have almost ruled out OpenGL on windows.
The challenge with WebGL is that many Windows machines can’t (Mac, Linux can) render WebGL content because the OpenGL drivers aren’t installed, even though the computer has powerful graphics hardware (GPU to be precise).
ANGLE will allow Windows users to overcome this problem and run WebGL content without having to find and install new drivers for their system. Because ANGLE aims to use most of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, it may help developers working on mobile and embedded devices as per Google.
“ANGLE should make it simpler to prototype these applications on Windows and also gives developers new options for deploying production versions of their code to the desktop”
Access ANGLE on Google Code