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Microsoft Launches WorldWide Telescope 167

Posted by kdawson
from the godspeed-jim-gray dept.
esocid writes "WorldWide Telescope, developed by Microsoft's research arm, knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and others. Windows users (only) can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics. The application allows viewing from different wavelengths such as X-ray, visible light, and hydrogen-alpha radiation. Business Week has a review and some background on the project, which has been in development for years. Google Sky beat them to the punch but Business Week opines that WWT's interface is superior."
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Microsoft Launches WorldWide Telescope

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  • Telescope or Printer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shogun (657) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @02:37PM (#23394686)
    Ok this is weird, if I run the self extracting installer it starts to install some Xerox printer drivers instead of the WWT. I think it gets its temp files mixed with the drivers that I installed a while ago, it appears to install fine if i manually extract somewhere else and run the setup.exe...
  • Good to see (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @02:38PM (#23394714)
    FTA: "Microsoft Research is dedicating WorldWide Telescope to the memory of Jim Gray [wikipedia.org] and is releasing WWT as a free resource to the astronomy and education communities with the hope that it will inspire and empower people to explore and understand the universe like never before."
  • by greymond (539980) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @02:38PM (#23394720) Homepage Journal
    MS's may be better but it required me to download and install their app where as Google Sky is just like Google Maps and runs in my web browser. I don't know if I'd actually compare these two products considering it's web app verse a 20mg install.

    That said I personally lost interest with both about 5 minutes after playing with them. I'm not really a solar-system-space nut, but I'm sure those that are will love either.
  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @03:13PM (#23395160)
    I like Google Sky as a toy, but it wasn't able to replace Starry Night as a serious tool. It sounds like WWT may actually compete with the more useful applications, which is pretty cool.
  • Re:Good to see (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @03:16PM (#23395182)
    I think you missed his point. You can buy a computer from anyone, from Dell to your local computer shop to Walmart. You can get internet service from any number of DSL, cable, dialup, or wireless ISPs.

    You buy Windows from Microsoft. End of story.

    Google gets it, MS doesn't. Look at the Apple laptop mix at a college campus or local coffee shop and tell me that supporting platforms other than Windows is still not important when trying to go toe-to-toe with Google.
  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Liquidrage (640463) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @04:07PM (#23395924)
    Take your "EVERY OS SHOULD BE FREE" tangent elsewhere.

    You obviously don't do astronomy. I have single EP's that cost me $500. The worm gear in my mount costs more then XP. A simple piece of machined aluminum tubing that does nothing but serve as an adapter for me costs almsot as much as XP does. Hell, Starry Night that this will most likely replace for me costs more then XP does. Astronomy aint cheep. In software, sure there are some freebies. I've used Cartes du Ciel for a while but it is no where near as good as Starry Nights.

    If this were MAC software would you be on some tangent about the cost of the OS and the hardware? I doubt it. You're just a confused fool on some tangent how they missed the target market when you're clearly not the target market.

    I'm looking at this as potentially (will have to see) replacing a very expensive piece of software for me. Your complaints just aint valid.
  • Re:Web 2.0? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PunditGuy (1073446) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @04:15PM (#23396032)
    A browser is just a standalone application that happens to use the net for data. It can use integrated applications for things like RSS or Google Sky, or it can run standalone applications for things like RSS or WWT.

    WWT is using the Web to synthesize data from multiple sources into an integrated, interactive user experience. How does that not qualify?

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

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