Back in 2009 you might recall that Google announced a new protocol dubbed SPDY they promised would dramatically speed up web browsing
. Most people found the announcement to be a bit dubious, given the long history of browsing acceleration promises. But SPDY wasn't intended to replace HTTP; it instead creates a session between the HTTP application layer and the TCP transport layer and speeds downloading using multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression (you can check out the white paper
Not to be outdone, Microsoft is also looking to speed things up, submitting a proposal this week to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for HTTP 2.0. In a blog post
Microsoft isn't getting into real technical specifics, but insists the standard uses Google's SPDY as a reference point. They also seem to imply they see SPDY failing when it comes to mobile devices:
The HTTP Speed+Mobility proposal starts from both the Google SPDY protocol (a separate submission to the IETF for this discussion) and the work the industry has done around WebSockets. SPDY has done a great job raising awareness of web performance and taking a clean slate approach to improving HTTP to make the Web faster. The main departures from SPDY are to address the needs of mobile devices and applications.
The IETF this week will examine both HTTP 2.0 and SPDY in more detail this week. Over at Google+, SPDY co-inventor Mike Belshe argues that SPDY deals with mobile devices just fine
, and says he "looks forward to them providing real-world performance metrics and open source implementations so that we can all evaluate them."