Feeds

MS makes its play to own Web voice APIs

The Next Big Thing?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The timing of the re-announcement that Microsoft will be incorporating DirectPlay Voice into DirectX is interesting. It has been known that Microsoft was serious about getting real-time voice into games ever since it acquired Canadian company ShadowFactor Software last June, when it announced that its Battlefield Communicator real-time sound functionality would appear in DirectX 8.0 in "late summer" 2000. Microsoft also mentioned some additional possible non-gaming uses for voice over the Internet, but did not seem to be in a hurry to develop them, and just waffled about "enhancing the experience" of Internet use. The four University of Waterloo graduates who founded ShadowFactor were quickly moved to Redmond as Microsoft rushed to be the first to define what it hoped would be the definitive APIs for real-time Internet voice. Curiously, some games that have optionally offered voice communication have found that many players were not using it. BattleCom had first appeared around November 1998, and by June last year sales were believed to have reached a modest $100,000. Microsoft has now announced that instead of BattleCom continuing to be available for purchase from the ShadowFactor web site, from 18 February it will be available as a free download until "this summer" when DirectX 8.0 would be released. So just what prompted the early re-announcement of this generosity by Microsoft? Could it be that Microsoft didn't like the news that rival Firetalk was going to announce its Firetalk Virtual Auditorium product at the Demo 2000 meeting in Indian Wells, California yesterday? With the real battle being to control the APIs for real-time voice, Microsoft looks determined to prevail, and is even prepared to sacrifice the revenue from BattleCom in a re-run of what would appear to be the cutting off of oxygen (money, again) from competitors by making it difficult for them to charge for their products. There are some other competitors in the field too, although MPath seems to have become very quiet recently. ThrustMaster sold its brand last July to the French Carentoir (Guillemot Corporation) with a view to relaunching itself in Internet communications. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.