Khronos Group Develops New Version Of OpenGL

Khronos Group, the industry consortium that develops OpenGL, announced a new version of the graphics interface on Monday that it hopes will compete better with Microsoft's DirectX — and that could get a boost from 3D web technology.

OpenGL 4.1, released just a few months after OpenGL 4.0, is an interface that programs can use to tap directly into a variety of graphics hardware. It's the 3D interface of choice for Mac OS X, Linux and many 3D design applications, but when it comes to the biggest consumer market, games, DirectX rules the roost.

But OpenGL has two allies, both increasingly powerful: mobile phones and the web. On the mobile side, is Apple's iOS, used on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, which can use a pared-down version of OpenGL called OpenGL ES. Newer versions of Android, Google's mobile phone operating system, also can.

On the web side, top browser vendors except Microsoft are backing a 3D web graphics technology called WebGL that is a variation of OpenGL ES.

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