Re: I'm hopeful
>Also not seeing Qualcomm or ARM mentioned, it's pretty unthinkable launching a new graphics API without mobile support.
The article didn't make it clear - Steam is presenting Kronos's glNext. ARM and Qualcomm are a senior Khronos members.
>Ultimately this sounds like an effort to make opengl compete with the DirectX optimizations and mantle.
It does. AMD have given Kronos Mantle to do with as they wish. Of Mantle, they say it's closer to DirectX12 than DirectX12 is to DirectX11 - the trend, as seen in Metal, Mantle and DierctX 12, is to allow the game engine to be closer to the metal. It suits AMD to reduce the CPU overhead on GPU calls.
>[DirectX has]had its problems in the past, for sure, but these days [DirectX12] is a surprisingly nice, well designed API.
Yep, it is incorporating some of the same ideas as Mantle, Metal and the next OpenGL. The idea is that the game-engine does what was traditionally expected of the graphics driver... However, there was no business reason for MS to open-source it.
Now though, one would expect game developers to want a open standard since they are releasing games for x86 Windows, Linux, XboxOne and PS4.