Recently leaked copies of Windows 8.1, which includes Internet Explorer 11, have suggested that Microsoft will support WebGL shortly, a specification that lets webpages render 3D graphics. The software giant is dropping a big hint towards that support today with a teaser on Vine. After a set of entertaining Vine ads for IE recently, the latest asks "what's next? WebGL?"
The hints mean that Microsoft has likely engineered WebGL to fit its security needs. Previously, the software maker has outlined security concerns with the standard, noting in 2011 that its current form was non-endorsable "from a security perspective." The Verge understands that Internet Explorer 11 does indeed include WebGL support, and that it will be delivered as part of the Windows 8.1 update later this year.
A significant improvement for web gaming
The addition in Internet Explorer is significant. Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all support it in various ways, offering developers a cross-platform way to implement the very latest web technologies. Google's latest Maps web app also makes use of WebGL to power the Google Earth sections, and a recent WebGL-powered version of Epic Citadel shows what's possible on the gaming side.
Microsoft is expected to unveil more information about Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11 before the end of the month. The company is preparing to detail developer improvements to the OS and browser at Build in late June, where we will also hear how Microsoft attempts to tie its Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox platforms together.