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End of the Desktop? Google Backs WebGL

Apr 30, 2010, 14:02 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

"When Google announced Chrome OS, I was skeptical that a Web-only interface would be suitable for the mainstream market. Sure, some folks could get by with a browser-based netbook, but what about real applications and games. As HTML5 continues to mature, and Google Chrome improves by leaps and bounds, it looks more and more like Web apps really will give the "fat" desktop a run for its money. Most convincing? Google's announcement that it's ported Quake to run in the browser sans plugin. At the same time, Google has given me good reason to remain skeptical with its change in direction with Google Gears.

"Google is apparently picking up the Web Graphics Library (WebGL) ball and running with it. What's WebGL? In a nutshell, WebGL is a port of OpenGL ES 2.0 for Web browsers to allow JavaScript apps to make use of 3D in the HTML5 canvas element. Chrome isn't the first project to embrace WebGL. Mozilla, Apple, and Opera are all working on WebGL implementations in their development releases — though it's not yet in any of the shipping browsers."

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