Following its $425m purchase of WebTV Networks Inc (CI No 3135), Microsoft Corp has licensed technology that will enable it to bring television-quality video pictures to the personal computer. The Redmond, Washington software giant will use The Duck Corp’s TrueMotion 2.0 video codec technology to enable video and multimedia developers to produce high quality video for Windows NT-based machines. The technology will be primarily used in the games market, and included in the company’s DirectX suite of Application Programming Interfaces. The next release is currently in beta testing. Users of DirectX together with TrueMotion are said to be able to take advantage of increased scalability, simpler coding, improved data rate control and high quality live material input. TrueMotion will be primarily aimed at the home entertainment market and its decoder will be installed on Windows, enabling users to automatically decode applications, or more likely games, and run them immediately. Microsoft’s business manager for DirectX, Chris Phillips said TrueMotion had been selected because, it is of a very high quality, very fast and very effective. Founded in 1992 and based in New York, Duck is a privately held company that was established to develop and commercialize video compression technology, and already has agreements with companies such as Sega Enterprises Ltd and Viacom Inc. The Duck Corp was so named because it is memorable, according to the company’s chief operating officer David Silver. At the moment Duck has 25 employees working out of two offices in New York City and Albany, New York. Silver said he couldn’t reveal too much, but did say the company would be paying attention to the growing digital video and television market in the future. Speaking about the Microsoft agreement, Silver said Duck was extremely pleased and, it will give our technology wide exposure.
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