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MS shines light on ShadowFactor

Buys multiplayer audio comms technology for DirectX 8

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft yesterday announced its latest acquistion, Canadian software developer ShadowFactor Software. ShadowFactor makes software that allows online games players to communicate by audio rather than by typing in text -- always a tricky process when you're trying to nail some SOB with your Railgun at the same time. Gaming veterans may recall Bungie Software offered just such a feature with its first-person shooter Marathon way back in 1994, but this is the first time a company has offered it in an Internet context. And with online multiplayer games increasingly taking on more co-operative, team-based gameplay, as in Epic's Unreal Tournament, for example, better player-to-player communications are going to be a godsend. ShadowFactor's technology, known as BattleCom, will be integrated into DirectX 8.0, itself due to ship Q3 2000. In the meantime, it will presumably remain a standalone product. Terms of the acquisition were not revealed. ®

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