Going forward, Ubisoft's products will carry the Games for Windows seal, an indication to consumers that a game will run properly on Windows Vista and other Microsoft operating systems.
The first Ubisoft title to carry the seal will be The Settlers: Rise Of An Empire, Microsoft disclosed Friday at a gaming conference in Leipzig, Germany. Other popular Ubisoft titles for the PC include Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Silent Hunter, and Heroes Of Might And Magic.
Game publishers that have previously signed on for Microsoft's Games for Windows campaign include EA Partners, LucasArts, Activision, and 2K Games.
Microsoft is hoping Games for Windows will encourage developers to take full advantage of Windows Vista's more advanced features. Among other things, the operating system supports DirectX 10 -- a new application programming interface that allows developers to add ultrarealistic graphics to their games.
Windows Vista also supports hyperthreading, a function that lets games and other applications take full advantage of new multicore chip architectures from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. To date, developers have been slow to adopt hyperthreading because of its more demanding programming requirements. For instance, Microsoft's own Flight Simulator 10 title -- a processor-intensive game that simulates commercial aircraft operations -- does not fully support hyperthreading.
In Leipzig, Microsoft also announced that its Train Simulator 2 title will carry the Games for Windows seal.