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Microsoft quits 3D graphics board

The software giant resigns from the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, citing its increased focus on its own proprietary DirectX technology.

Microsoft cut its ties to a standards group that is working on technology for high-powered 3D computer graphics.

Microsoft resigned from the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, effective Feb. 15, citing its increased focus on its own proprietary DirectX technology.

OpenGL and DirectX are technologies for rendering and accelerating 3D computer graphics. OpenGL is included on all Windows, MacOS, Linux and Unix computers, according to the standards group.

Microsoft said that while it supported industry standards in principle, and was a founding member of the standards group in 1992, OpenGL was not making sufficient headway to warrant its continued participation.

"We belong to hundreds of standards bodies," said Windows Product Manager Charmaine Gravning. "We feel they're really important to the industry--not just for our business, but for standards that benefit all our customers. But in this particular instance, Microsoft was really stretching itself across multiple technologies, and given the direction that the industry was going in terms of adoption, we didn't feel that OpenGL was the right direction."

In a separate statement, Microsoft said it would continue to support the technology despite its resignation from the board.

"Microsoft has the highest regard and respect for all the ARB members and will continue to work with individual members of the ARB, customers and ISVs (independent software vendors) who are developing applications that run on OpenGL to ensure that they will provide a great user experience under Windows," the company said in a statement. "Even though Microsoft will be focusing more energy on evolving Windows graphics, Microsoft sees OpenGL as an important component of the Windows Platform today and in the future."