Microsoft to squish Google Sky like a bug?

Microsoft to squish Google Sky like a bug?

Summary: Google launched a less than spectacular, yet brimming with potential, feature to Google Earth last year called "Google Sky". It effectively lets users turn the camera upside down to view the stars rather than cities.

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Google launched a less than spectacular, yet brimming with potential, feature to Google Earth last year called "Google Sky". It effectively lets users turn the camera upside down to view the stars rather than cities. The idea is great -- just imagine using your computer as a telescope, or a perfect reference guide to real star-watching.

The problem with Google Sky, for me at least, are the icons scattered throughout the sky and the lack of a real reference point to the ground -- it's hard to know where exactly you are looking. However, like most things at Google, it will get better given time.

googlesky2.png

Rumor has it that Microsoft is about to launch some software that has been in the making since 2002[pdf] at TED this year. If reports are true, February 27 is going to be a day that Microsoft actually demolishes something that Google made -- it's apparently called World Wide Telescope.

Those who have seen it say that it's better than Google Earth (which isn't surprising) and Stellarium (which is). Stellarium is an awesome tool that has everything Google Sky is missing, and more.

stellarium.png

If rumors are true, and if Google wants to win this modern-day space race, they are going to have to do something drastic -- but I'm going to bet that what you see is what you get for now.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Google, Microsoft

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8 comments
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  • It may be that looking at the stars doesn't inflame passions

    Microsoft may have a superior tool, but comparatively not many people look at the stars. Now, if they can rotate the camera 180 degrees and have also a superior experience looking at the earth, that will be something...
    Roque Mocan
    • So sad but true.

      I look forward to what MS has done with the WWT. I see it may become a great
      research tool or teaching tool but the sad truth is... Not lots of commercial $$$ in
      astronomy:-(

      They do get the coolest toys, however.
      Bruizer
  • RE: Microsoft to squish Google Sky like a bug?

    "Rumor has it that Microsoft is about to launch some software that has been in the making since 2002.."


    That sounds familiar. Or do you not remember just how many years they spent working on Vista? And the hype from the MS crowd over it? And the lackluster product all that hype and R&D vomited out ;-) ?
    Sysadm1n
  • This will be a great accessible tool to many scientists!

    This is a good thing. Kudos to Microsoft for doing something for the scientific community.

    From what I've heard, almost anyone can have access to this WorldWide Telescope. No more need for special trips to the Hubble. Well at least not as often for "real" data. Now there is a nice place to see all this data in one place.

    Can't wait to check it out : http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2008/02/18/out-of-the-bag-microsoft-worldwide-telescope-on-the-way/
    quikboy
  • emphasis on Google-MS competition overshadows real achievement

    WWT gives us another way to view the heavens. These web telescopes hopefully make people appreciate the beauty of astronomy and the position of our planet in the larger scheme of the universe. My dad is an amateur astronomer, so he will really like this additional tool.
    killerbunny
  • RE: Microsoft to squish Google Sky like a bug?

    Has Microsoft "squished" anything but the poo in their pants anytime inthe last five years? Please.
    mxyzplk
    • Ballmer

      When Ballmer's flying chair landed it probably smashed something pretty good. Does that count?
      Sysadm1n
  • Just a reminder people, the runway lights may impress your residence"

    Sprawling City plans and mortgage lifestyles have nothing in common. Even the courtside and clubhouse homes have future run-ins on the books with the zoning commission in any given area. God only knows the havick of being a cowboy without a gun or a Son on the Sheriff's S.W.A.T. team.

    "This is the end of the Age of Bliss and Ignorance."
    rtirman37@...