Uncle Steve geeft blijk van zijn streven naar vrijheid van innovatie door het prachtige idee achter Roger Wilco te immiteren. De komende versie van DirectX zullen namelijk uitgerust worden met DirectPlay Voice, een real-time voice technologie waarmee spelers op en rond het virtuele slachtveld gezellig met elkaar kunnen keuvelen:
Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to incorporate real-time voice techno logy, called DirectPlay Voice, into the next version of its popular Microsoft DirectX suite of multimedia application programming interfaces (APIs). The innovation was adapted from the Battlefield Communicator (BattleCom) application created by ShadowFactor Software Inc., a Canadian company acquired by Microsoft in June 1999. The new DirectPlay Voice technology will be integrated into the DirectPlay networking API in DirectX and optimized for use in multiplayer games.
``With the addition of this technology to the DirectPlay API in DirectX, Microsoft will provide game developers with a powerful set of programming interfaces to cleanly integrate voice technology into their games,'' said Paul Donlan, program manager for DirectX at Microsoft. ``Real-time voice communication between players will greatly enhance the gameplay experience. Imagine table talk during an online bridge game or squad collaboration during World War II-era flying games such as 'Combat Flight Simulator.' Once embedded into DirectX, voice technology will bring multiplayer gaming to a new level.''
In addition to enhancing PC games, the incorporation of voice technology into DirectX will enable computers based on the Microsoft Windows® operating system to be used for the development and operation of additional PC-to-PC voice solutions, including voice- rich Web pages, real-time document sharing with voice collaboration, and Web-based customer-service voice applications.
The BattleCom voice application has been available to consumers for purchase though the ShadowFactor Web site since 1997. However, effective Feb. 18, 2000, Microsoft will offer BattleCom as a free* download at http://www.shadowfactor.com/. The ShadowFactor Web site will continue to function as the distribution site for BattleCom until the release of the next version of DirectX, scheduled for this summer. At that time, BattleCom and the ShadowFactor Web site will be phased out in lieu of voice technology applications derived from the next version of DirectX.