Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - Microsoft to Offer Programming Tools To Spur Xbox - Microsoft to Offer Programming Tools To Spur Xbox "Any doubt that Microsoft Corp. is at war with Sony Corp. over videogames should be dispelled by a symbol of that clash in J Allard's office here: a Sony PlayStation 2 that has been pierced by a .50-caliber machine gun bullet. Now the competition is entering a new phase, and the strong-willed Microsoft engineer is preparing a different kind of weapon.
Microsoft plans to announce today that Mr. Allard will lead a broad initiative to develop new software tools for writing sophisticated videogames.
The project will draw on programmers and technologies from Microsoft's videogame group and its core Windows division to create a single "platform" of compatible programming tools for building games that run on both Microsoft's Xbox game console and Windows-based personal computers.
While technical in focus, the plan is strategic in design: Microsoft, which started in the 1970s by selling a programming language called BASIC to write software for PCs, has a long history of using its programming tools as a strategic weapon for breaking into new markets and pushing out competitors. This time Microsoft is using its tools to try to win the attention of independent game developers."

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