The existing Windows framework drawing is currently done via GDI or GDI+. Xojo recently dropped Windows XP support and this allowing them to update how Windows apps work. In the upcoming release Xojo will switch to Direct2D and DirectWrite.
These two technologies will allow better picture scaling and better alpha channel support. And while GDI+ does have some hardware acceleration these new libraries have full support for hardware acceleration. In testing, Xojo says that intensive drawing routines should be roughly 280% faster than R3. End users should only have to recompile their apps to take advantage of this new feature.
Geoff did not talk about flickering but I will attempt to find out more this week.
Among the other changes:
Windows HiDPI will now officially be out of beta. In addition the Windows Xojo IDE will be released as HiDPI capable.
Xojo Cloud users should see exceptionally better upload speeds. Starting in R4 the libraries used in the upload are cached so they are not uploaded every single deployment. This should speed up deployment and testing quite a bit.
More news to follow.