"The technology in question is hardware-accelerated graphics and
text using interfaces called Direct2D and DirectWrite that provide
an easy way to use graphics cards' computing power. They're built
into Windows 7, and Microsoft is bringing them to Windows Vista but
not Windows XP.
"The performance boost from Direct2D and DirectWrite was the
centerpiece of Microsoft's demonstration of Internet Explorer 9
goodies shown last week. Online maps flashed on the screen quickly
and tracked mouse movements responsively; text was clearer and
changed sizes more gracefully.
"But the day of Microsoft's demo, Mozilla evangelist Chris
Blizzard had this to tweet: "Interesting that we're doing Direct2D
support in Firefox as well--I'll bet we'll ship it first."