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It seems that just about everyone has a Sound Blaster Live! and instead of releasing a upgrade to this card Creative decided on different flavors that in number rival the ice cream selection at Baskin Robbins.
In the past there have been others. Aureal built an excellent chip that supported all of the major API's, had a good market base and even started to market boards under the Vortex name. Though bad things happen and needless to say Creative bought Aureal and from what I can tell stopped all driver support.