SEATTLE, June 7, 1999 — Today at Meltdown 99, Microsoft Corp. announced the acquisition of ShadowFactor Software Inc., the Canadian manufacturer of Battlefield Communicator (BattleCom) technology. BattleCom enables players to talk to one another while engaged in multiplayer Internet gaming, rather than communicating by typing.
Jay Torborg, director of graphics and multimedia in Microsoft's Consumer Windows® Division, announced the news in a keynote address this morning at the three-day conference, which is dedicated to Microsoft® DirectX® development and compatibility testing for hardware and software companies. More than 500 industry leaders from around the globe were present for the announcement.
Microsoft plans to incorporate BattleCom into DirectX 8.0, a forthcoming version of the powerful multimedia technology behind the Windows operating system scheduled for release in late summer 2000.
"BattleCom's real-time voice-over technology is amazing, and we're excited to make it a part of the Windows gaming platform," said Kevin Bachus, group product manager for DirectX at Microsoft. "The ability to talk to other players over the Internet without the hassle of typing dialogue in midplay adds a new dimension to online gaming."
Once integrated into the DirectX application programming interface, BattleCom technology is expected to be applied to a full spectrum of multiplayer online game titles. The ability to communicate verbally while interacting online, from casually chatting during a game of Bridge to taunting opponents while immersed in the latest 3-D action game, will enhance players' enjoyment.
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