Google has relented in its efforts to improve its own scrolling APIs for Chrome and has instead stated that it will adopt Microsoft's Pointer Events API used in Internet Explorer.
While there's no timeline on when the API will be implemented, this does represent a small feather in the hat for Microsoft as the two companies have historically been at odds with one another over browser standards.
The Chromium team notes that though it initially decided to focus on improving existing APIs, feedback from developers has swayed them to adopt the Pointer Events API that has already seen wide use in Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Opera. From the Chromium Google Group:
Pointer Events offers some technical advantages over the existing use of Touch Events and Mouse Events. Most notably, pointer event listeners never block scrolling, and so replacing all touch event handlers with pointer event handlers will address the main longstanding source of scroll-start jank we see on Android (irrespective of whatever scheduler improvements we're able to make to better prioritize input handling).
The above is a lot of technical speak that boils down to this: the Pointer Events API will offer improved, smoother scrolling for Chrome users by combining touch and mouse events into a single set — as opposed to the current implementation that handles the interactions separately.
No matter how you look at it, this is a pretty interesting development. Scrolling in Internet Explorer and the other browsers that use the Pointer Events API is pretty smooth, and Chrome has historically suffered from some jankiness even as Google pushed further improvements to the browser's current API. Going further, it will be interesting to see what other improvements to the browsing experience Microsoft may come up with as development on the Project Spartan browser continues.