Google: 3D Browser
Google Labs has released the open source API O3D for testing. Still in an early phase of development, O3D intends to make 3D browser applications possible.
The search engine company chose an early release to benefit from developer feedback. The goal is to create, or at the very least to discuss, an open standard for 3D graphics on the web. The debate was started by the Khronos consortium and Google sees itself as partner in the discussion, not a competitor.
O3D can be installed as a plug-in for Windows and Mac browsers. The installation for Linux is more difficult, with the Linux version still classed as "experimental". Instructions can be found here. Valid for all systems is the fact that O3D will only run on 32 Bit. A demo is available from Google Labs, with various demos and examples that should run after a successful browser installation.
In the first discussions, Google's Java-script API received negative feedback. Doubts were shed on the necessity for a new API with some commentators claiming the OpenGL-API to be sufficient.