Microsoft Corporation and Silicon Graphics (SGI) today announced a strategic alliance to create a common, extensible architecture that will bring advanced and powerful graphics to the entire computer market. Code-named "Fahrenheit," the project will create a suite of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the Microsoft DirectX multimedia architecture for Windows 985/NT and SGI's UNIX-based systems. Fahrenheit will incorporate Direct3D and DirectDraw APIs with SGI technologies such as OpenGL, OpenGL Scene Graph, and OpenGL Optimizer.

As part of the agreement, SGI will port its graphics software to Windows NT.

"Today, Silicon Graphics and Microsoft are defining a clear path for developers that enables both of us to expand the market for graphics," said Ed McCracken, chairman and CEO of Silicon Graphics. "This also marks Silicon Graphics' first step toward implementing its strategy to participate in the larger market for a graphically oriented Windows NT-based systems."

Development of Fahrenheit begins immediately, with portions of the APIs expected over the next two years. For more information about Fahrenheit, please visit the SGI Fahrenheit site or the Microsoft DirectX site