Byte: QuickTime and DirectX square off

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The Independent Culture
A preview version of QuickTime 3, Apple's award-winning and widely used multimedia software, has been released (http://www.quicktime.apple.com/preview/). Whereas previous versions allowed for development of video, sound and animation files on the Mac and playback on Mac or PC, the latest revision allows for content to be developed on PCs as well. Apple is confident, however, that content producers already using Macs will stay with the platform rather than switch to Windows. A final release of QuickTime 3 is expected next month.

Microsoft simultaneously released its DirectX Media 5.1 software development kit (http://www.microsoft.com/directx/) for creating multimedia applications in an effort to keep up with the leaders in the field. Commenting on the differences between the two packages, Ralph Rogers, an analyst at Dataquest, said: "I've always used the plumbing analogy: If you want to plumb a building, Microsoft gives you the pipes and valves you need - you have to build the rest yourself. QuickTime is a little more advanced and time-tested. [Apple has] put in the water supply and all you have to do is hook the sink up."

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