RealTime IT News

Microsoft to Incorporate DirectPlay Voice Into DirectX

Microsoft Corp. Friday unveiled plans to incorporate DirectPlay Voice, real-time voice technology, into the next version of its DirectX suite of multimedia application programming interfaces.

The incorporation of voice technology into DirectX will enable computers based on the Windows operating system to be used for the development and operation of additional PC-to-PC voice solutions. Voice-rich Web pages, real-time document sharing with voice collaboration, and Web-based customer-service voice applications are all possible uses for this technology.

DirectPlay Voice was adapted from the Battlefield Communicator (BattleCom) application created by ShadowFactor Software Inc., a company Microsoft (MSFT) acquired in June 1999. The new DirectPlay Voice technology will be integrated into the DirectPlay networking API in DirectX and will be optimized for use in multiplayer games.

BattleCom has been available to consumers for purchase though the ShadowFactor Web site since 1997. Starting Feb. 18, 2000, BattleCom will be available for free download. The ShadowFactor Web site will continue to function as the distribution site for BattleCom until the release of the next version of DirectX, scheduled for this summer. The voice technology applications derived from the next version of DirectX will result in the BattleCom and the ShadowFactor Web sites being phased out.

DirectX 7.0a, can be downloaded from the DirectX Home User Web page, or by using the Windows Update feature in Windows 98. The DirectX Software Development Kit can be ordered from the DirectX Developer Downloads Web page.