Microsoft previews DirectX 8.0

Microsoft Corporation previewed the next iteration of its DirectX multimedia programming library this week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2000) in San Jose, California. DirectX 8 will feature photo-realistic graphics, voice communication technology and the ability to stream music in real-time when it debuts this summer.

"Following the success of DirectX 7.0, the next generation of DirectX will enable developers to create applications with real-time voice communication; complex musical scores; rich, ambient sound; and real-time, photo-realistic graphics," said Ted Hase, the group program manager for DirectX at Microsoft. "The most significant advances will be seen in our advanced audio DirectMusic API and the DirectPlay networking API."

Improvements to DirectX are the result of developer feedback, the company says. Online gamers will benefit from massively-scalable Internet game capabilities and the integration of voice command technology.

"The integration of voice communication into the DirectPlay networking API will make it easy for developers to provide this new functionality to their customers," said Andrew Walker, a DirectX games technology evangelist. "Rather than providing voice communication as a separate application, developers will be able to provide it as a fully featured part of the game."

After getting off to a rough start in 1996, DirectX is now the most popular gaming/multimedia development library available. The most recent version of DirectX, version 7.0, was downloaded over 10 million times since its release last September. Microsoft also includes DirectX 7.0 in Windows 2000, its premier operating system for businesses

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