Google has announced recently a number of new developments: the status of Chrome OS, a new market for applications running in Chrome, and cloud printing support in Chrome, all preparing the way for Chrome OS devices.
Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, has announced that IE9 will use only the H.264 standard to play HTML 5 video. Microsoft seems to have become very committed to HTML 5, while Flash loses even more ground. The announcement came the same day Steve Jobs detailed why Apple does not accept Flash on iPhone and iPad.
Google uses WebGL to natively render 3D graphics inside Chrome. The problem is that WebGL relies on OpenGL 2.0, and not all Windows systems have its drivers installed. The ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine) project is intended as a thin layer between WebGL and DirectX, enabling Chrome to do 3D on any Windows system.
Google has announced support for the HTML 5 Web SQL Database API, and others are likely to follow soon or have already started on support for this API. In the meantime, the completion of the specification is blocked because all the implementers involved have chosen to use SQLite as underlying database, and multiple independent implementations are required for standardization.
Google has announced they will stop supporting older and less secure browsers like IE6, Firefox 2.x, Chrome 3 or Safari 2 starting with Google Docs and Google Sites editor from March 1st, 2010.
Google has added five security enhancements to Chrome in order to make browsing more secure: cross-documents message posting, Strict Transport Security, Origin and X-Frame-Options header fields, and Reflective XSS Filter. Some of these features have already been or are to be implemented by other browsers.
The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) is working jointly with W3C on developing the HTML 5 standard, which has been at "Last Call" at WHATWG for the last 3 months. During this time one feature which has changed more significantly is the sandbox attribute of the iframe element. sandbox can be used to isolate untrusted web page content from performing certain operations.
Google Chrome’s latest additions are: Chrome Beta for Max and Linux, Extensions for Windows and Linux, and Web Sockets.
Google is offering two DNS servers for public use, namely 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, in an attempt to further speed up browsing.
Both IE and Mozilla teams are currently working on using DirectX/GPU for page rendering while Google is considering it.
Google proposes SPDY, a new application protocol running on top of SSL, a protocol to replace HTTP which is considered to introduce latencies. They have already created a prototype with a web server and an enhanced Chrome browser that supposedly loads web pages twice as fast.
Google has just released an Internet Explorer plug-in called Google Chrome Frame that enables Chrome rendering inside IE. That means that any page targeted for Chrome Frame will be rendered using Google’s rendering engine, including HTML 5 elements supported by Google, while the page is viewed with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Phoenix Technologies has created HyperSpace, a small OS that supports only browsing. HyperSpace precedes Google Chrome OS which is supposed to offer the same functionality with some differences.
Google has announced they are working a new operating system called Google Chrome OS. Based on a Linux kernel with a new windowing system, the new OS is targeted at netbooks first and will be open sourced and free.
A Microsoft Research team led by Helen J. Wang has created Gazelle (PDF), a browser-based OS, with the declared intent to tighten security when going online.