Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 to include WebGL graphics after all?

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 to include WebGL graphics after all?
Windows Blue will be detailed in full at Build in June

Microsoft's next version of the Internet Explorer web browser may feature a graphics platform the company had previously derided as a security risk.

In a leaked version of Windows Blue, unearthed last week, the IE11 browser shows evidence that the WebGL tech - used for enabling accelerated 2D and 3D graphics - will be deployed.

WebGL, which is featured in IE's rivals Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome, uses the hardware GPU to assist rendering without the need for additional plug-ins. It is useful for gaming, mapping and other graphics-intense functions.

The leaked IE11 build shows WebGL's DNA is present within the code, but not yet operational, but that could change by the time Microsoft fully details the Windows Blue update at its Build conference in June.

Softening stance

The discovery comes almost 2 years after Microsoft said it would not be pursuing the tech within its browsers due to security vulnerabilities.

In a blog post in June 2011, the company said: "We believe that WebGL will likely become an ongoing source of hard-to-fix vulnerabilities.

"In its current form, WebGL is not a technology Microsoft can endorse from a security perspective."

Last year, the company's attitude appeared to be softening, when it admitted that WebGL was among users' most requested features, and would be implemented if security concerns were allayed. Has that time come?


Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.