Only three days after announcing the sale of its 3D specialist, Softimage, to multimedia developer Avid, Microsoft is investing in Pluto Technologies International, Avid's close development and marketing partner in high bandwidth video storage and networking systems.
Softimage was acquired by Microsoft in 1994, and the retained minority interest provides Redmond with a shareholding in Avid. Craig Mundie, Microsoft's senior vice president, consumer platforms division, commented: "Microsoft will continue to be an investor and strategic ally of Avid."
He continued: "Avid gains the benefit of rapid expansion into the 3D market, a video production solution that ideally complements its current offerings and a stronger alliance with Microsoft. Softimage joins the team of a proven industry leader that will help the company continue to grow and be a force in the digital media space. Microsoft gains a strategic ally for continued development on Windows NT and our digital media initiatives."
Pluto Technologies, a privately held Boulder, Colorado company established in 1995, is best known for the Space Platform, a family of video, broadcast and storage systems that fit very neatly with Microsoft's strong interests in digital television. Other investors include Aweida Ventures, Centennial Fund, Asia Pacific Ventures and Avid.
Last April saw Avid and Pluto announce a joint development and marketing deal valued at $285 million in cash and stocks. Pluto developed a DV-native multichannel playback system for Avid under the OEM agreement and Avid developed a DV-native version of its Newscutter disk based editing system for Windows NT, compatible with Pluto's DV based playback server.
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