Several Web pages arrive significantly faster using Direct2D rendering technology in Firefox. (Credit: Bas Schouten)
At PDC09, Microsoft showed off some browser technology that could help Internet Explorer 9 leapfrog competition. Technology is hardware-accelerated graphics and text using interfaces called “Direct2D and DirectWrite,” that provide an easy way to use graphics cards' computing power -- built into Windows 7. But the day of Microsoft's demo, Mozilla evangelist Chris Blizzard had this to tweet: "Interesting that we're doing Direct2D support in Firefox as well--I'll bet we'll ship it first." There's work to back up his rhetoric. And Bas Schouten, of Mozilla, posted a prototype of Firefox using Direct2D and DirectWrite. So if Mozilla succeeds in its hope, Microsoft could be playing catch-up instead. But Mozilla wouldn't commit to including the technology, much less to a release schedule such as Firefox 3.7 due in the first half of 2010.