back to article Microsoft poised to unveil WorldWide Telescope?

On 27 February, Microsoft will use the TED Conference in Monterey, California, to launch its "WorldWide Telescope" - a downloadable Google Sky-busting app allowing users to "pan around the nighttime sky and zoom as far in to any one area as the data will allow". That's according to TechCrunch, which cites a "source close to …

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Photosynth

If Photosynth is anything to go by, neat it may be, but seamless it won't - though with more consistent photography and everything at infinity, it may be a bit better.

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Very late to the party

As seems to have become the pattern for the last decade or so, MS are way too late with this one. That's the problem: as software systems become more complex, it takes progressively longer for Microsoft to rip them off. Remember how fast is was when they did CP/M?

Has this company ever actually innovated?

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Photosynth

Photosynth is pretty awesome actually. Is this the first time they have used it in a "production" application?

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Linux

Photosynth innovative

Of course it is innovative! I've tried the demo preview beta thingie and got the message:

Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only

The Photosynth technology preview runs only on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista.

Yay! Let's all dump Linux for Vista!

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Dump

>Yay! Let's all dump Linux for Vista!

What? You mean the 3% of you?

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Anonymous Coward

Yay, uSoft finally got Google!

That's the Astronomy market wrapped up. Other consumers can only be round the corner.

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Gates Halo

@Geoff Mackenzie

The concept for this project was done way before Google had started that half baked google sky, this software is the bomb and shows some truly stunning images.

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Gates Horns

@Geoff Mackenzie

Microsoft didn't "do" CP/M. They bought 86-DOS lock, stock and two smoking barrels from Seattle Computer Products.

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Anonymous Coward

@Geoff Mackenzie

> Has this company [M$] ever actually innovated?

I believe they were the first software company to both screw their competitors to the floor and then nail them down.

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Joke

@Very late to the party

Look, when such a great company takes a long time to hand craft stunning code from the ground up and then test it thoroughly it is obviously going to take time to get it right. Once again the wait is going to be worthwhile, another flawless piece of software engineering, smooth, unbloated and reliable and secure to boot!

What greater incentive could you need to move to Vista now?

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Such a shame

Innovation = Copy Google

The Photosynth technology looks pretty cool - it's a shame they've decided that they need to copy Google step-for-step with it.

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Photosynth demo

Have a look here for the state of the technology 12 months ago:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/129

May not be a M$ original idea but its certainly impressive.

@Dirk Vandenheuvel - that would be 3% and rising. And they're mostly technology pioneers who want to control their own PCs. For free.

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Anonymous Coward

World Wide Telescope

Geoff Mackenzie writes: "As seems to have become the pattern for the last decade or so, MS are way too late with this one. That's the problem: as software systems become more complex, it takes progressively longer for Microsoft to rip them off. Remember how fast is was when they did CP/M? Has this company ever actually innovated?"

Setting the record straight: The late Jim Gray launched the TerraServer prototype (the precursor to Virtual Earth) in 1997, before Google was even founded (search for "a spatial data warehouse" for details). And the same Jim Gray launched the SkyServer (part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) in June 2001, again years ahead of Google (search for "Public Access to the Sloan Digital Sky Server Data" for details). Jim used the name World-Wide Telescope back in 2002 to refer to the SkyServer (again, search!!). So the only thing that's new is the integration into PhotoSynth -- which itself is much older than people give it credit for (look up Richard Szeliski's past 10 years of work on image mosaicing).

I realize that facts are secondary when one senses an opportunity to bash Microsoft, but but but ...

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Boffin

Is Vista SP1 out there anywhere

If you look waaaaaay out there, you can see the constellation of Rebootes.

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Gates Halo

@ John

Actually, Vista SP1 is due out at the end of this month. Check the technet, I kid you not.

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Flame

@World Wide Telescope

OK, so you've made the point, exactly. Terraserver predated Google Earth. So how did ms innovate? They didn't, they bought someone else's work, as usual. They bought SkyServer, more work by the same guy. Again, how did ms 'innovate' in any of this? Business as usual for that bunch, if you can't buy it, then steal it or copy someone else's model.

The only "innovative' things they ever did were to convince the majority of the computing public that crashes and daily failures are "normal operations"; and to expose the majority of of the computing public to umpty-jillion varieties of malware. Now THERE's a record to be proud of.

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Alert

@@World Wide Telescope

And Google bought Keyhole Inc. in order to use their technology to create Google Earth. What were you saying about innovation?

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Flame

Innovation

I think the notion of licensing, not selling, software was innovative for its day...

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Gates Horns

@Geoff Mackenzie

CP/M was commercially available in 1976, MS-DOS in 1981. So what's your point?

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It doesn't matter if it is better

The fact that it is from Microsoft means that I will never use it.

Microsoft means viruses and proprietary lock in.

The future is open, Internet based, mobile, and wireless.

Microsoft is behind the times if they think Windows is the center of the universe.

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Anonymous Coward

World Wide Telescope

"Anonymous Coward" writes: "OK, so you've made the point, exactly. Terraserver predated Google Earth. So how did ms innovate? They didn't, they bought someone else's work, as usual. They bought SkyServer, more work by the same guy. Again, how did ms 'innovate' in any of this? Business as usual for that bunch, if you can't buy it, then steal it or copy someone else's model."

Factual correction: Microsoft did not buy TerraServer or SkyServer; Jim Gray developed them while at Microsoft (he worked at their San Francisco lab from 1995 until his disappearance in 2007). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Gray_(computer_scientist)

Or maybe you are trying to say that (bad) Microsoft buys the work of (good) employees like Jim?

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Anonymous Coward

ms 'innovation'

OK, so the mob from Redmond (with a San Francisco posse) actually hires a few really smart people on occasion. This does not excuse the way they treat their "customers" (read: victims).

And I maintain that their record of "innovations" have far more often been detrimental to the rest of us. No comment on the instability and vulnerability of ther crapware?

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Gates Halo

woohooooo

It's nearly here!!!!!

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