Is Native WebGL Support Coming To Internet Explorer 11?

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For all of its talk of supporting open Web standards, Internet Explorer 10 still lacked one important part of the open Web ecosystem - WebGL. Sure, you could add it with a plugin, but Microsoft refused to add native support while Mozilla and Google do amazing things with it. That all may change, however, with Windows Blue.

Fremycompany reports that Internet Explorer 11, as seen in the recent leak of Windows Blue, contains hints in its code that Microsoft will finally be adding native support for WebGL. The only problem is that it's not entirely functional yet:

I didn’t get webgl working, even by trying using iesl, hlsl and other combinations. So, it seems like WebGL interfaces are defined but not functional at this time.

As CNET points out, Microsoft did have a good reason to keep WebGL out of Internet Explorer until now. The company called it out as a security risk, and was concerned that malicious actors could hijack browsers using the technology. Still, this latest hint of incoming support may mean that Microsoft has patched up all the security holes it was concerned about.

There's not much more to go on at this time beyond the initial hints, but it would be incredibly advantageous for the Web if Internet Explorer finally added native WebGL support. It's quickly becoming one of the more important open Web standards as more people use it to make games and other graphic intensive content on the Web without plugins.

We've reached out to Microsoft to see if the Internet Explorer team is working on native WebGL support. We'll update this story if they get back to us.

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