OpenGL 4.1 Released, Taking the Lead from DirectX?

July 26, 2010, By Radimir Bobev

The developers of OpenGL, Khronos Group, have just announced that they’re coming out with a new version of their well-known graphics library, and they’ve expressed great hopes for the toolset’s capability of offering healthy competition to Microsoft and DirectX – and from what we’re hearing, the new OpenGL may also benefit from 3D Web technology, which should make it even more interesting.

The release is coming out just a few months after we got OpenGL 4.0, and the new version is capable of interfacing with a wide range of graphics hardware, making it a very good choice for developers (not that it wasn’t until now, but still). Mac OS X and Linux developers are already using it exclusively for their applications (as DirectX is obviously not available on those systems), and it’s also utilized by various 3D design-related applications. The biggest problem about OpenGL, though, is that it still fails to dominate the one market that matters the most – video games.

This will likely change according to Neil Trevett, president of Khronos, thanks to some of the new features in OpenGL 4.1. For example, shaders can now be compiled and stored directly on the hard drive, taking some stress away from the GPU, as the game will now just have to load them instead of calculating them every time. Most of the changes are aimed at streamlining the design process, so it looks like OpenGL may really get some of the attention it deserves this time.

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