The flagship virtual reality modeling language (VRML) conference, VRML 99, will be open to rival 3D web technologies – a decision that reflects the changes that have taken place in the VRML world over the past year. 1998 saw VRML pioneers Cosmo Software and Intervista Software snapped up by Platinum Technology Inc, while Platinum rival CA acquired 3D content companies of its own. Both software giants want to build 3D interfaces for business applications. Meanwhile the VRML Consortium, an industry standards body, changed its name to the 3D Web Consortium to reflect a new, more inclusive mandate. Accordingly, VRML 99 will showcase new technologies from Sun Microsystems, Apple Computer, Platinum, Sense8 and Microsoft. Organizers hope to attract 500 attendees from three continents for the conference, which will take place February 23-26 in Paderborn, Germany.