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Microsoft nabs 3D modelling specialist Caligari

Microsoft has acquired 3D modelling software developer (opens in new tab), Caligari, for an undisclosed sum. The company will become part of Microsoft's Virtual Earth Group once the transaction has been completed.

Caligari was widely known for its Truespace modelling software which was a popular giveaway software on computer magazine cover discs.

The California-based company's purchase comes a few weeks after Microsoft purchased Multimap to beef up its Virtual Earth and Search groups.

Microsoft's Virtual Earth 3D competes head-on against Google Earth and Caligari's acquisition could be Microsoft's tit-for-tat answer to Google's purchase of Sketchup.

Back in 1994, Microsoft purchased Softimage (opens in new tab), another 3D modelling software which it then sold to Digital Media specialist AVID for $285 million.

It is rumoured that Caligari's acquisition (opens in new tab) will speed up the development of a Second life type concept using Virtual Earth and integrate it will the Silverlight framework.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.