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Microsoft adds dimension

The firm will license MetaCreations' MetaStream 3D graphics file format and run-time engine for integration into DirectX.

Microsoft is going 3D.

The Redmond, Washington-based software powerhouse announced today a deal to license Carpenteria, California-based MetaCreations' MetaStream 3D graphics file format and run-time engine for integration into future versions of Microsoft's DirectX application programming interface.

DirectX is Microsoft's multimedia development tool. MetaStream is designed to make 3D graphics more scaleable by adjusting the streaming of content to a particular user's bandwidth and processing power. For example, MetaStream-developed graphics being viewed by someone over the Internet with a 28.8K modem will stream at a higher rate than someone viewing them over a local-area network in their office so that both users see the graphics the same.

Microsoft and MetaCreations are targeting not only game and Web page developers but also the e-commerce industry for interactive displaying of products over the Web as well as for medical, scientific, and distance-learning applications.

Financial details of the deal were not released.

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