Dec 02

Expect dramatic performance increases from next generation of browsers.

Mozilla has just announced the release of an alpha version, codenamed “Minefield”, of the next Firefox release. This new Firefox will include the ability to render pages in Direct2D, instead of the normal GDI, with which browsers have been rendered for many years. Not only will this make Firefox render faster, but it will support a slate of new possibilities as graphic rendering by a dedicated graphic chip allows from many more different kinds of effects and tools with which to present and manage information, different technologies, normally only reserved for 3D graphics applications, will be available to web designers to augment their regular toolsets. As well, the web design toolsets will absorb Direct2D and offer more choices.

Internet Explorer 9 is also set to include Direct2D technology, which, when combined with it’s Silverlight alternative to Flash, will allow an improved user experience and a new array of design tools to be used by the large number of developers that write software for the Microsoft platform, including desktop and office software designed to be used in combination with Internet Explorer. This will add new capabilities to the many applications and tools of the Microsoft Office System and it’s integrated functionality of the Internet Explorer basic core.

Macromedia is also leveraging Direct2D and technology designed to use your computers graphic chips to render. The beta version of the next Flashplayer is available now with support for graphic chips.

That this is something new and not something that has already be thought of and implemented is only astounding in hindsight. That web browsers would become so ubiquitous and multifunctional in how people would use them isn’t something that alot of businesses anticipated even 5 years ago. Long before the Cloud, when rendering and manipulating text and simple images was all a web browser was expected to do.

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