IE 9: Surfing on the GPU with D2D

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The IE team is busy working on the next version of the world's most popular browser. IE 8 is the most widely used browser on Windows. IE 9 is currently in the oven and the IE team is ready to talk about what they're working on. Here, IE GM Dean Hachamovitch leads us through the halls of IE (literarally) and takes us to meet graphics developer Christian Fortini and test lead Anjali Parikh. They're taking IE to a new level with all graphic rendering taking place on the GPU via the DirectX technology D2D. So, IE 9 will take advantage of the power of the GPU for all page rendering and, further, enable web developers to exploit this power in ways they already understand (CSS, DHTML, JavaScript). The increase in performance and smooth rendering is stunning as you will see in the demos that are part of this conversation. This is incredible news for web developers and web surfers. IE 9, surfing the GPU! Oh yeah.

Be sure to check out interviews on IE 9's new JS engine and the importance of testing to achieving interoperable standards.




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    The Discussion

    • exoteric

      IE9 w/ D2D & DirectWrite. Nice - I was waiting for this!

    • intelman

      I have kept requesting this since IE7. It makes sense, the web is pquite graphical and computationally intensive now.


      Now the problem is waiting.

    • DCMonkey

      I don't know if this was covered in the (I wasn't paying enough attention when I watched it Smiley, but would the move to rendering IE9 via DX allow a future version of the WPF WebBrowser control to function without the airspace issues of the current GDI based control?

    • Cream​Filling512

      I didn't watch the video yet, so apologies if this was covered, but how do you handle printing if the browser is rendered on the GPU?  Do you keep the GDI pipeline around for the purpose of printing support?

    • intelman

      I forgot to mention, hopefully zoomed pages beyond 100% are smooth.

    • Charles

      We do talk about this. The net net: printing will work... Smiley

    • Simo

      Now this I like...

    • ktr

      Charles, you did a great job on this video.  I also really like the way it was filmed; it felt real ... as if you were in the room. Very cool.

    • Cream​Filling512

      Yeah they didn't really give you an answer though.  Either they will keep a legacy GDI pipeline, well not really legacy because it'll need to be kept up-to-date, for printing.  Or they will target the new XPS print path, probably the latter.  Either way they're going to have to basically have two render paths for everything.  It's going to be a hard problem.  Abstracting the whole presentation system and supporting arbitrary render methods seems indicated.  If they were using WPF they'd get printing and GPU acceleration for free, but I'm kinda glad they're not cause it's probably too heavyweight.

    • carstep

      Unfortunatelly I can't play this video on my mac's FF. Schame on Silverlight no to be capable to do that Sad

    • BitCrazed

      Essentially, GDI, GDI+ and DirectX provide a layered architecture for rendering of 2D and 3D imagery, text, etc. When you print a page in a GDI-based app today, your app obtains a printer Device Context (DC) and draws on it. This DC can then be submitted to the printer for rendering which passes the DC to the printer driver in order for the DC to be converted into printer-specific commands (e.g. PostScript, etc).


      Direct2D is no different. You ask DirectX to create a rendering surface compatible with your printer and you draw on it. The surface can then be passed to the printer driver for translation into the printer-specific language.


      Review some of the WinHEC 2008 presentations on DirectX and XPS:

    • Lokitoth



      No, switching to Direct2D will not fix airspace issues because at the end of the day there will still be an HWND you are inserting into your WPF tree representing to container in which WebControl will render.

    • Lorenzo79

      Oh, the Microsoft green coffee cup! I've enjoyed it so much when I was a business visitor last May...

    • Cream​Filling512

      I don't see anything about such a thing.  Direct2D is nothing like GDI, it's a 2D helper library built on top of Direct3D.  The end result of drawing is always a bunch of commands sent over DMA to the GPU, there is no support for printer devices like GDI.   The rendering surfaces live in the GPU and are only formats supported by the GPU.  There's no printer rendering surface.


      Edit: Reading MSDN documentation, it looks like Direct2D has pretty extensive interop with GDI.  I think it can actually use GDI as a render target, didn't know that.  In this case they could use GDI for printing by just changing the render target.

    • VengenceBot

      Use The Force.. and make some cool alternative to the "Opera" SpeedDial and "Safari" Topsites!!

      Then IE9 will rule all!!

    • Chris​Stepaniuk

      Awesome Charles!!  I really like this interview style.  It seems like you were just having a discussion in the hallway, it felt more impromptu.


      Thanks IE team for improving the browser.  Today it feels that when you go into your browser, you seem to loose all the power of your machine, and yes, people have addressed this by using flash and silverlight, but it's great to see this type of support available in markup and CSS, and hopefully JavaScript.  It will be awesome to be able to translate this to your site without the need to use silverlight or flash if what you want doesn't really require these technologies.



    • LZIM

      Since Win7 started I've been wondering about the possibility of the entire OS being rendered in something like D2D.


      There are so many parts of the OS that don't render well in 2D or that render too slowly/poorly. At this point it seems like Win8 will be required for that kind of leap, if not the mother of all service packs.

    • Moshpit

      Charles & IE team, great job!  I'd like to add that powerful GPU's aren't something we'll have in the future.  They are already here!  Both NVIDIA & ATI/AMD have had GPU's with hundreds of cores for a while now.

    • Clint

      You can download the video if you choose not to install Silverlight.  Under the post's tags you'll see "Media Downloads"

    • Clint

      If you have an intel mac, you can do this, if you don't, view the MP4 file

    • ZippyV

      Wauw, Charles 2.0


      When did you upgrade?

    • Charles

      What does that mean?


    • exoteric

      A non-obvious way to refer to the great new interview style where you are not both interviewer and cameraman at the same time!?

    • Charles

      Thanks to Michael O'Neill (the guy behind the camera and the production of these IE9 pieces). He's our rock star studio manager as well. I really like working with him which can only mean more great pieces like this -> Old School + New School. I think it works well.


      We've always wanted to bring you directly into the conversation as it unfolds (inside offices, very little editing, real conversations). With Channel 9 Live (Nic Fillingham's baby with important contributions from Larry Litebulb Larsen and Michael O) we will make your direct involvement in steering the direction of these conversations even more explicit (in real time), as you witnessed during PDC09.


      This generation of the Channel 9 team is in my opinion the best one to date. We're going to make it to the Super Bowl of transparent, customer-focused/driven conversation. In addition, as you have seen, we will bring you very polished and professional content that tells a story (VS documentary, History of MS, etc) and short films even (Halloween special, etc). Then there's the new Learning Center where we have substantial training materials that will continue to grow to cover much of Microsoft's development technologies. Truly a great resource.


      We're becoming much more than we were and this is fantastic. I look forward to the future and you, Niners, will ride shotgun as we progress.


      Cheers to all Niners, MS content contributors, Dan, Tina, Laura, Litebulb, Nic, Michael and Jeff.




    • pm100

      there was a browser project called 'chrome' (also 'chrome-effects') in MSFT > 10 years ago. That incorporated DirectX Draw directly onto the browser surface. v cool demos shown at various internal thingies. Then it suddenly disappear. FInally we come full circle

    • flaviowd

      I hate new IE menu (since IE7). Way not the classic menu? All menu items are hidden. When I need to instruct a user by phone how to display the menu items is a BIG sacrifice.

    • ka

      Thanks for the presentation.  Exciting stuff. 


      I've done some digging through the Direct2D code and wanted to do something that's available in GDI+ such as DrawPie, FillPie, DrawArc, etc.  However, I don't find anything comparable to these.  So I tried to do an AddArc with a PathGeometry.  But, that seemed to insist on making a half semicircle, not the pie I was after.  Is there a way to do this?

      (doing AddLine, AddBezier, AddLine comes to mind, but I'd rather not go that route). 


      Thanks for any suggestions!



    • mrpiddly

      This is obviously the wrong place, but is the Internet Explorer team stuck in the year 2003? 


      This video presents all these 'new' features as if IE is on the cutting edge but in reality, IE is years behind almost every other engine. IE is holding back web development, not propelling it forward. When writing almost any type of code for anything online, I always have to have two versions, the standards compliant version and the IE version (And sometimes the IE6 version). 


      Dont get me wrong, it is a good thing that IE is going somewhere, but these improvements are so pitiful compared to what other browsers are doing right now that they hardly even matter. Legacy and monopolization are the only reasons that IE has any market share and, as recent months have proven, more and more users are seeing the truth and choosing other browsers. 



    • Griddle

      I am really glad to see that the IE team is working on the next version of the Internet Explorer browser, but I see so many people who say that the browser still need some improvements to make it better in a lot of sections, including the security.

      I wish the team all the best, and am looking forward for the new and improved version.

    • Masini de inchiriat

      Can't believe they had to bring these two guys into the Microsoft offices, just because IE graphics on D2D are too fast :))  You have been imortalised guys by this capturing device of 120 frames / second. Anyways, finding out details on direct tex, gave me some good clues on GPU usage in graphic technology. Thanks!

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