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December 9, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 12:58pm


By CBR Staff Writer

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. One time enemies Microsoft Corp and Silicon Graphics Inc have been getting noticeably closer recently, especially when SGI’s fortunes took a turn for the worse earlier this year (CI No 3,144), and now the two have announced a joint initiative to enhance SGI’s OpenGL three- dimensional graphics libraries. The two companies will work together to deliver a new 3D graphics DDK, Device Driver Kit for Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. The companies claim the DDK will give graphics chip vendors and OEM’s an easier way of creating, certifying and distributing 3D graphics drivers based on OpenGL, for Windows 95 and NT 4.0, as well as the forthcoming Windows 98 and NT 5.0. Carefully drawing the line between OpenGL and Microsoft’s own 3D graphics libraries Direct3D, the companies are pushing OpenGL for professional applications such as computer-aided design, and Direct3D for consumer applications. Analysts say Micrososoft’s support of OpenGL acceleration on all its 32-bit Windows systems is very important for both the hardware and software development communities. Microsoft says it will offer chip and graphics hardware developers a direct source for the OpenGL DDK and it is implementing a new certification testing and branding program for both OpenGL drivers and Direct3D drivers. The Windows 3D graphics DDK will be distributed by Microsoft and is due next spring.

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