Chrome has historically used the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to power text rendering on their Windows browser, a technology that has been around since the original release of Windows in the mid 80s. Chrome 37 for Windows will now adopt DirectWrite, a text layout and glyph rendering Windows API introduced with the release of Windows 7 in 2009. DirectWrite is said to improve browsing performance with “high-quality text rendering even on high-DPI displays.”
This move by Chrome is a culmination of user requests, forum discussion, and sandboxing since the DirectWrite API’s debut. It also follows the adoption of DirectWrite by FireFox and IE9 in 2011. It took longer for Chrome, given the re-architecting and streamlining needed to implement the API. Currently, Chrome 36 uses GDI, but if all goes to plan, version 37 is scheduled to dump GDI and embrace DirectWrite within the next stable release.