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SGI ready with new VRML browser

Silicon Graphics' Cosmo Software division is set to release the latest version of its 3D VRML viewer and is updating its authoring tools.

Silicon Graphics' Cosmo Software division will release tomorrow the latest version of its 3D VRML viewer.

VRML, or virtual reality modeling language, is a markup language akin to HTML for the creation of three-dimensional environments. The Cosmo Player 2.0 will support SGI's OpenGL programming interface, the same set of software instructions that Microsoft will integrate into Windows over the next couple of years. (See related story)

Cosmo Player 2.0 sports a new user interface as well as faster rendering thanks to its OpenGL support, according to Cosmo Software representatives.

SGI's Cosmo division also produces development tools. A new version of the CosmoCode Java development environment also will be released next month at $250 per seat. The new version will run on Irix, SGI's flavor of Unix, and for the first time on 32-bit Windows platforms.

The CosmoWorld VRML 2.0 authoring tool will be available for Windows NT in the first quarter of 1998. The company is looking into a version for Windows 95, but that is yet to be determined. Price also has not been determined yet.

The company also offers a hobbyist VRML authoring tool called HomeSpace, which it acquired when it bought ParaGraph International last spring.

The new Cosmo Player can be downloaded as a free standalone client, as part of the Netscape's Communicator software suite, standard edition, or as an Active X component for Internet Explorer 4.0. It runs on Windows 3.1, 95, NT, and Unix, with a Macintosh version to follow early next year.