Back in 1995, the Microsoft Kids division of the company released a program called Microsoft 3D Movie Maker. The same year that the original Toy Story proved that feature-length 3D computer animation was feasible, people could install software on their home computers that could spit out crude-but-creative 3D animated movies at 6 to 8 frames per second.
Aside from releasing Doraemon and Nickelodeon-specific versions of Movie Maker later on, Microsoft never really returned to this software… until now. Microsoft Developer Division Community Manager Scott Hanselman announced yesterday that Microsoft was open-sourcing the code for 3D Movie Maker, posting it to Github in a read-only repository under an MIT license.
Microsoft made some seriously weird products back in the ’90s, and this is definitely one of them. It’s great to see things like this released as open source – these are not the products that set the world on fire, but the idea to get it to compile and run on modern systems will surely spark the imagination of quite a few developers.
This should be a thing. It would be an awesome thing for software historians if all software could become open sourced at the end of it’s commercial life instead of being buried and never seeing the light of day again.
Since we no longer use physical media, I think it may become more difficult for people to revisit their collection of “cloud” apps and movies in the future, especially stuff they’ve purchased from app stores and streaming providers because the online catalogs aren’t permanent.
I recall zune subscribers having lost their entire catalogs.
This risk keeps increasing as we become more dependent on service providers, Steam seems to be in a healthy state today, but it is still concerning to have so many titles tied to one company’s services and DRM. Incidentally they went offline yesterday temporarily.
Steam is convenient, but I prefer DRM-free competitors like GOG.
Haha, this got O/T, but whenever old software comes up I think about the challenges surrounding archiving digital content that we face these days.