Analysts are suggesting a link between Microsoft?s antitrust trial and the indefinite postponement of its much-hyped Chromeffects Internet technology.
Chromeffects enables users to view rich, interactive multimedia content over the Internet by embedding calls to the Windows DirectX application programming interface (API) into Web pages (see VNU Newswire, 12 September, 1998). DirectX is a low-level Windows API used mainly by games developers.
But the technology is one of only a few that require Intel?s latest and most powerful processors - from the Pentium II upwards.
Rob Enderle, analsyt at Giga Information Group, suggested that Microsoft might be getting even with Intel over its stance during the ongoing antitrust trial against the software giant (see VNU Newswire 13 November, 1998).
"Killing a product a quarter before it was to be released is almost unprecedented and the only company that is really hurt by this move is Intel. The timing is too much of a coincidence. I can?t come up with any other reason why they?d kill this product so late in the game. I certainly see Intel responding," he said.
Analysts elsewhere suggested that Microsoft?s move may have come from a fear of being seen to flout Web standards and as a result of allegations that it was trying to sabotage rivals? multimedia efforts.
But George Olsen, a Web designer at 2-Lane Media and project leader with the Web Standards Project disagreed, saying that Web designers are generally loath to develop content that can only be seen on one platform ? a Windows 98 PC running Internet Explorer.
"Traditionally, for developers, our baseline is last year?s PC, or even the PC of two years ago unless your content is sexy enough that it sends people out to buy new hardware," he added.
See analysis section for further details.
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