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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Signs Licensing Agreement with AOL

Microsoft Corp. Monday signed a licensing agreement with America Online Inc. for the use of Microsoft's DirectX multimedia API components.

The nonexclusive distribution agreement will enable AOL (AOL) to give clients the ability to run the latest games and multimedia applications on their Windows operating system-based PCs. AOL members will be able to download DirectX from AOL's PC Download Center.

DirectX was first introduced in 1995 and is now a recognized standard for multimedia application development.

Built into the Windows operating system, DirectX technology is used by the majority of PC software developers to create game titles and multimedia software with superior 3-D graphics, sound effects and high-speed performance. Consumers who download DirectX 7.0 on their home PCs will be able to fully utilize the realistic qualities in the season's new PC software titles while receiving a significant performance boost in existing software.

"We are thrilled to have DirectX 7.0 available through AOL," said Ted Hase, group program manager for DirectX at Microsoft (MSFT).

"Consumers now have an additional resource from which to obtain the latest version of Microsoft's multimedia API for an enhanced, intensified multimedia gaming experience."

Although the two companies have signed Monday's agreement, a rift still exists between the online giants in the instant messaging space. Microsoft had previously cracked into AOL servers to allow MSN Messenger users to access AOL's Instant Messenger service, but last week disabled the feature citing security issues.