DirectX co-founder passed away

Posted on Tuesday, Dec 15 2020 @ 10:45 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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WSJ reports Eric Engstrom passed away on December 1st following complications of a foot injury. Together with Alex St. John and Craig Eisler, Engstrom was one of the three driving forces behind Microsoft's push into videogaming. At a time when game developers preferred DOS, Engstrom and others came up with a new way to make Windows suitable for gaming: DirectX.

While initially dismissed by other factions within Microsoft, DirectX turned out to be a smashing success:
Mr. Engstrom, who died Dec. 1 at the age of 55, and his pals formed one of several factions within Microsoft trying to solve the game problem. Openly contemptuous of colleagues who didn’t share their ideas, they were so obnoxious that Brad Silverberg, who ran the Windows business, dubbed them the Beastie Boys. He had to fend off frequent demands for their dismissal.

Yet the solution they developed, DirectX, beat anything else on offer inside Microsoft. DirectX software recognized games and allowed them direct access to the computer’s graphical capabilities, allowing a richer game experience than DOS could.
Interestingly, WSJ reports Engstrom didn't even like video games:
“I don’t like games, so I had no idea games were huge,” he said later. The trio dubbed their work on DirectX “the Manhattan Project,” a nod to what they saw as its importance and top-secret nature.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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