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Microsoft launches iPhone app

Microsoft launches iPhone app

The Seadragon Mobile software allows for smooth 'deep zoom' functionality on high-res images - and is available exclusively on the iPhone.

In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, Microsoft has released its first application for Apple's iPhone – and it's not available on its own Windows Mobile platform.

CNet spotted the release of Seadragon Mobile by Microsoft's Live Labs on Sunday. Designed as a lightweight, mobile implementation of the Seadragon technology which powers the Photosynth 3D photo gallery system, the free application – available from Apple's App Store – allows images stored on the Internet or on the Photosynth service to be quickly browsed via a 3D accelerated 'deep-zoom' system which allows the viewing of images far larger than the iPhone can handle alone.

What makes the application unique is that the company has released it for a rival platform before making it available on its own: indeed, according to comments from the company it could turn out to be an iPhone exclusive. Alex Daley, group product manager at Live Labs, told Seattle-based tech news site TechFlash that the iPhone's 3D accelerated graphics engine “enabled us to do something that has previous been difficult to do.

While this is Microsoft's first foray into the world of the iPhone, it's not going to be its last: the company also has a voice-activated search system in the wings which is likely to be released for the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms in the next few months under the name “Tellme.”

Do you think that Microsoft should be concentrating on applications to further its own mobile platform, or is it good to see the company admitting that sometimes competitors can come up with a decent product? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

12 Comments

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chrisb2e9 15th December 2008, 13:58 Quote
I didn't see that one coming.
bowman 15th December 2008, 16:27 Quote
The iPhone's UI does look really nice for a phone, and apparently it can do this as well.

PowerVR graphics has to be something else. Lotsa power, on low power, in a small package.. Shame they don't use them in netbooks.
wuyanxu 15th December 2008, 16:51 Quote
that app is superb, the maps makes the default iPhone Map look like a joke.

it's only a simple zoom application, i think they made it exclusively on iPhone is because of the unique multi-touch. it won't be the same experience on normal touch screen or using keypads
Rich_13 15th December 2008, 17:36 Quote
bah it's not like they havn't made software for apple products before...
Bauul 15th December 2008, 17:40 Quote
Apparently it's broken now... :)
Smilodon 15th December 2008, 17:41 Quote
I just heard on the weather report that Hell just got it's first snowfall....
Flibblebot 15th December 2008, 18:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_13
bah it's not like they havn't made software for apple products before...
Have you tried to use office on the Mac?
docodine 16th December 2008, 01:26 Quote
it's a pretty silly app, not very useful

nice to show off though
konsta 16th December 2008, 12:48 Quote
I suspect that the reason this is feasible on the iPhone and not Winmo platform lies in the 3d acceleration. Different Winmo phones use different chips for this, and have varying capability. This makes it very hard to account for when coding, and is part of the reason why there is a dearth of 3d games for winmo - even though many current handsets could handle them. In constrast, there is only one (or maybe two) iPhone chipset(s).
wuyanxu 16th December 2008, 14:17 Quote
there is only one iPhone/iPod Touch hardware setup. the only rumour is that the 2gen iPod Touch have a little faster ARM processor, which doesn't give any gameplay advantage at all.
TechLady 9th April 2012, 15:31 Quote
Standard mobile applications are the smartphone programs you use daily to compose e-mail, update your calendar, edit documents and collaborate with your colleagues.

But, in order to customize your mobile business experience – there are apps that are tailored to YOUR specific business requirements. Workflow management, logistics, shipping management, and other industry-specific software today is fully available.

Business mobile Apps help you stay organized and manage your business while you are on-the-go.

What do you think about new technologies?
qbob219 16th April 2012, 05:52 Quote
It's a good news, we won't worry about the compatible any more.
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