Microsoft to Acquire Dimension X

REDMOND, Wash., May 7, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dimension X, the industry’s leading start-up devoted to the Java
™multimedia market. The move confirms Microsoft’s commitment to Java and multimedia, giving the company a set of key products and technologies to enhance the Microsoft® Internet Explorer Web browser and the DirectX
™
set of APIs.

Dimension X, based in San Francisco, was the industry’s first Java start-up, founded in March 1995. It created the first Java-based multimedia authoring tool, Liquid Motion, and the first Java-based VRML browser and runtime technology, Liquid Reality. The Dimension X Liquid products and technology will be integrated into the Microsoft DirectX multimedia system services, which will enable developers to incorporate video, audio, 3-D, 2-D and animation into applications for the Windows® operating system.

“With the acquisition of Dimension X, Microsoft will gain powerful Java-based multimedia technology and a team of people who have been working with Java since its inception,” said Brad Silverberg, senior vice president of the applications and Internet client group at Microsoft. “Expanding DirectX support for the Java language will bring rich, interactive, high-performance Java-based multimedia applications to Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer.”

The acquisition of Dimension X will be the latest element of Microsoft’s multimedia strategy for providing developers, artists and designers with the technology to create the next generation of multimedia tools and content. The strategy delivers a unified multimedia architecture, DirectX, that provides new Internet-ready services and transparent hardware acceleration for four key markets – entertainment and games, multimedia authoring tools, Net publishing, and real-time communications.

Multimedia developers and artists will benefit from the acquisition in the following ways:

  • The power of DirectX for Java developers. Components of the Dimension X Liquid products will be integrated into DirectX, expanding the set of services for Java multimedia developers. For the first time, Java developers will have direct access to hardware acceleration, eliminating a barrier to performance for a wide range of multimedia applications.

  • Real-time multimedia support for Microsoft Internet Explorer. Following the closing of the acquisition, Liquid Motion and Liquid Reality are expected to be shipped with the DirectX media Software Development Kit (SDK), which will enable digital artists and tool developers to move beyond flip-book animation and deliver to consumers more compelling interactive media in Microsoft Internet Explorer.

“Dimension X has played a critical role in the Java revolution since day one,” said Patrick Naughton, co-creator of Java and president of Starwave Corp. “Karl Jacob launched the first Java start-up and built the best Java team in the valley. Dimension X has shown the world what Java can do by delivering unparalleled multimedia tools.”

“Our vision of enabling a multimedia-rich Internet has become a reality,” said Karl Jacob, president and CEO of Dimension X. “Working with Microsoft will allow us to have even more of an impact on the Java industry and millions of Microsoft customers by integrating our products and technology with the most widely distributed platform and browser – Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer.”

Most of Dimension X’s 40 employees, now based in San Francisco, will join Microsoft in Redmond, including Dimension X founders Karl Jacob, Chris Laurel and Ryan Watkins and key engineers Patrick Schmitz, Charles Loop, Mark Halstead and Alan Greenblatt. This impressive team was one of the first to license Java; Dimension X was an alpha site for the initial release of Java, previously known as “LiveOak.” Dimension X products are used by industry-leading Java vendors to verify the quality and performance of their Java implementations.

Dimension X is a leading supplier of Java-based platforms and tools for multimedia creation and delivery on the Web. The company’s products include Liquid Motion Pro for Java-based multimedia authoring and Liquid Reality for authoring and delivery of 3-D interactive content. Dimension X (http://www.dimensionx.com/) is privately held and based in San Francisco.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, DirectX and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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