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Microsoft refuses to use WebGL, claims it's 'harmful'

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Thu June 16, 2011

Rebuffs API used in Chrome, FireFox and Safari

Microsoft, through its TechNet Security Research & Defense blog claims that WebGL, the open 3D graphics API, is flawed. Microsoft believes that these flaws present significant security vulnerabilities. Consequently, Microsoft could not incorporate WebGL into any of its products.

Microsoft bases its position on two studies published by purportedly independent research house Context Information Security. In its findings, Context expresses concern that the way in which browsers support WebGL will expose hardware, especially video cards, to exposure and attack over the Web. Secondly, Context believes that, lacking an app similar to Windows Update, WebGL security measures may become outdated and vulnerable. Finally, Context believes that WebGL, may, in certain situations be vulnerable to a DoS attack.

Khronos Group, which has its members Google, Mozilla and Apple, and which is the open group driving WebGL, strongly disagrees with Context's findings and Microsoft's position.

Microsoft has good reason to push aside WebGL. The company is the developer and chief proponent of DirectX, which competes directly with WebGL. The company also has a well established track record of attempting to scare firms away from rivals by using studies which, while billed as independent, carefully select criteria to make sure Microsoft is put in the best light.

By Electronista Staff


  1. chas_m



    Microsoft ...

    ... telling OTHER companies that THEIR software represents a security risk is pretty rich.

    I'm not saying their claims are *completely* without merit, but seriously ... they are the last company ON EARTH I'd believe when it comes to security claims about other companies' stuff.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Microsoft's New Slogan

    "We put the FUD in FUDGED!"

  1. viktorob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2011


    They are kidding... aren't they?

    "Claims that WebGL, the open 3D graphics API, is flawed"

    The king of the flawed software is saying that other's software is flawed? They must be joking or they lost all shame..

    Well, what can you expect from a company that spends MILLIONS on Ads to promote PCs when they don't build PCs.

    Imagine Michelin tires spending millions to promote Yogo or Hyundai.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011



    I'd trust Microsoft security over Apple's any day. Apple boxes always get hacked in a few minutes.

  1. jay3ld

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2004



    Because you are so worried about security issues with WebGL and totally ignore Flash that has an update for it almost everyday.

    If Microsoft had any open source technology like FireFox, Opera, Chrome and Safari (Webkit), then somebody could simply fork their work to implant the technology until Microsoft came to their senses to merge it back into their applications.

    Perhaps a developer will make WebGL that works for windows products in the mean time.

  1. mqualben

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2001


    Microsoft is taking a c*** on WebGL on the basis o

    Windows has had remote code execution vulnerabilities in MP3, JPEG, PNG, and (insert any file format here). It's not like WebGL is the only web technology directly accessing graphics hardware, and folks smarter than Microsoft will figure out how to fix WebGL's security puzzle. This is yet another standards cop-out by Microsoft, whose only significant contribution to web standards has been AJAX. How pathetic for a company with their resources.

  1. sidewaysdesign

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011


    I've seen this movie before...

    Here we go again with MicroSoft nonsense. However, as the desktop dwindles in favor of smartphones and tablets (I lament the shift myself), MS no longer calls the shots. They kinda just get in the way for a while.

    And for the many, many years that developers suffered with the utterly obtuse Internet Explorer, they can hardly be considered an expert in the field.

    I f*** in their general direction!

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