From ACM TechNews:
Engineers Rebuild HTTP as a Faster Web Foundation
(03/30/12) Stephen Shankland
At the recent meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the working group overseeing the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) formally opened a discussion about how to make the technology faster. The discussion included Google's SPDY technology and Microsoft's HTTP Speed+Mobility technology. Google's system prefers a required encryption, while Microsoft's preference is for it to be optional. Despite this and other subtle differences, there are many similarities between the two systems. "There's a lot of overlap [because] there's a lot of agreement about what needs to be fixed," says Greenbytes' Julian Reschke. SPDY already is built into Google Chrome and Amazon Silk, and Firefox is planning on adopting it soon. In addition, Google, Amazon, and Twitter are using SPDY on their servers. "If we do choose SPDY as a starting point, that doesn't mean it won't change," says HTTP Working Group chairman Mark Nottingham. SPDY's technology is based on sending multiple streams of data over a single network connection. SPDY also can assign high or low priorities to Web page resources being requested from a server. One difference between the Google and Microsoft proposals is in syntax, but SPDY developers are flexible on the choice of compression technology, says SPDY co-creator Mike Belshe.