I am using Java with JOGL to create OpenGL enhanced 2D graphics. The graphics operations I use are nothing fancy, and should be supported by almost any recent graphics card. For example, my game runs great on a Netbook.
I was hoping the game would run on most computers. It runs fine on my own computers. However, I found some computers have very slow performance (apparently software fallback, yielding about 2 frames per second). I ran a LWJGL app on one such computer. It doesn't run at all (it reports something like org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Pixel format not accelerated, you can find various forum threads complaining about this but no apparent solutions, except the suggestion that it is a driver problem). Other OpenGL software does not seem to work, either. I also found that my Flash version of the game with exactly the same graphical effects performs pretty well full-screen on that same computer. The computer in question has a recent ATI card but unfortunately I have no access to the driver manager.
The problem appears fairly widespread. I think it is very unfortunate that OpenGL does not always provide access to graphics features found on most computers. This makes it less attractive for casual 2D games, which I expect to run on any computer.
Did any of you run into this problem and manage to fix it? AFAIK, both NVidia and ATI provide OpenGL as part of their standard driver sets, but maybe there are some exceptions? Is this problem caused by third party drivers not supporting OpenGL, and can the problem be fixed by installing better drivers? How many other graphics cards are out there without OpenGL drivers?
EDIT: As a final note, I can conclude that OpenGL is just not well supported on Windows machines. Microsoft seems to have been doing their best to keep it off their platform, for example by deliberately leaving out OpenGL drivers in some Windows driver bundles. Get the vendor drivers, and you get OpenGL; get the standard drivers that Windows downloads for you, and you don't. This has been causing no end of trouble for others as well. For example, for implementing WebGL, Web browsers use Angle, which is an OpenGL ES emulator for DirectX. So, what we'd really need is something like Angle, only for full OpenGL.