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Chrome is emerging as third major player in the browser market

At its peak in 2003, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) controlled over 94 percent of the browser market.  Inspired to "free" the world's internet access from the control of one single company, the Mozilla Foundation launched the open source browser Firefox in 2004, a browser which would offer Microsoft its first serious challenge since Netscape Navigator.  And in 2008, Google Inc. (GOOG), makers of the world's most popular search engine, released a second serious open source -- "Chrome".

Today Chrome has an estimated 18.9 percent of the market [source] and is the world's fastest growing browser (Firefox has 20.9 percent, Microsoft's Internet Explorer owns 52.8 percent).

Google this week announced the release of the 18th edition of its popular browser.  Available on every major personal computer platform -- Windows, Linux, and even Macs -- the new version brings fancier graphics and a number of bug fixes.

Google continues to pay top dollar to security researchers for finding flaws in its browser.  It awarded miaubiz, Chamal de Silva, Atte Kettunen of OUSPG, Aki Helin of OUSPG and Arthur Gerkis personal thanks and a bounty of $8,000 USD for helping it fix its flaws.

Serious flaws in OpenType and Skia handling were fixed.  Five "medium" priority handling errors were also patched.

Bugfixes aside, the new release brings GPU acceleration to Canvas2D, a key emerging web standard, which allows for beautiful 2D animations without proprietary standards.  The new releases also adds TransGaming's SwiftShader engine, which allows 3D web graphics based on the WebGL standard.

SwiftShader is is seen here running 3D Mark '03.  The engine allows for 3D graphics on the web, and has been added exclusively to Google's popular Chrome browser.
[Image Source: TransGaming]

For those looking to get their 3D web gaming on, Google does caution, "Keep in mind that a software-backed WebGL implementation is never going to perform as well as one running on a real GPU, but now more users will have access to basic 3D content on the web."

Sounds like GPU acceleration of WebGL is still a work in progress.

The upgrade also includes a new version of Adobe Systems Inc.'s (ADBE) Flash multimedia platform, which contains bug fixes and performance upgrades of its own.

Sources: Google [1], [2], TransGaming

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Loonnggg way to go
By B3an on 3/30/2012 11:50:26 AM , Rating: 0
Chrome's UI hasn't changed since release and it's showing it's age. IE9/10 now looks cleaner than all other browsers IMO and it's GPU acceleration, especially in 10 is smoother. However it dont support WebGL because of security concerns.

Meanwhile Flash 11.2 supports full GPU acceleration and Epic games support it with the Unreal 3 engine. Flash now uses DirectX and OpenGL - anything a console of PC game can do Flash can now do. Plus it will actually work in all browsers with exactly the same performance and no rendering issues as the browser and it's feature set is irrelevant. All the game devs seem to be going to Flash for the upcoming 3D web games, and theres already quite a few that have been around for months.

Google MAX Racer Flash demo for an example - HTML5 is nowhere near this level, and that demo isn't even near to the limits of Flash.

RE: Loonnggg way to go
By Devenish on 3/30/2012 12:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Flash can do it however Adobe is asking 9% cut of profits for those extra premium features and this will be an obstacle for developers accepting this strategy.

Compare that to say Unity3D (also supports Flash) offers their own web plug-in for a some time that's cost is factored into the existing SDK and perhaps other engines may fallow with similar methods.

Ultimately WebGL does need to mature as this will be the end game solution.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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