The Microsoft Multimedia Publishing Group has begun announcing its offerings in personal computer-based multimedia software for the consumer market. Microsoft Corp has signed an exclusive agreement to distribute consumer titles from The Voyager Co, and Multimedia Beethoven: The Ninth Symphony is the first of the titles to be available under the Microsoft-Voyager agreement. The package uses a mixture of sound, text and graphics and the user can delve into sections of the four movements of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, explore Beethoven’s life – and no doubt hear waht the Beethoven’s Ninth sounded like to the man himself by switching the thing off – have an in-depth look at the musical architecture of the symphony or review a measure-by-measure commentary. Multimedia Beethoven: The Ninth Symphony will be available later this year for around $80 against about $15 for a straight Compact Disk recording of the music, which is all that really matters. The software titles available under the Microsoft/Voyager agreement run on Multimedia personal computers, and Apple Macintosh systems. And Microsoft is involved in advancing its Windows graphical environment with multimedia extensions for use on multimedia-capable personal computers. This effort is performed by Microsoft’s Multimedia Systems Group.