In a blog post, Google told developers that those fancy WebGL and GPU acceleration features (such as HTML5 video) have a side effect. Users are suddenly seeing many more browser crashes. Google identified "old" graphics drivers as the cause for these crashes, which means that Chrome is explicitly asking for current drivers. "Because stability is one of Google Chrome’s core principles, we’ve recently become stricter about requiring up-to-date drivers and graphics hardware by adding ranges of old drivers to Google Chrome’s software rendering list," product manager Henry Bridge wrote.
At the same time, Google is asking developers to make sure that web pages that take advantage of GPU acceleration should be working for browsers and old hardware as well. However, there is no such thing as a free lunch: Bridge noted that users with outdated drivers cannot expect the same performance as they would get with new drivers. In the future, Google intends to address these issues and "hopes" that it can extend hardware acceleration "to more and more users."