Two more Microsoft Labs deliverables debut

Two more Microsoft Labs deliverables debut

Summary: Seadragon Ajax and Sticky Sorter are the latest two deliverables to debut from Microsoft's Live Labs and Microsoft's Office Labs hybrid research units.


Two of Microsoft's hybrid research-product labs made available test versions of new wares this week.

Microsoft's Live Labs -- the unit that married Microsoft Researchers with MSN developers -- quietly delivered a new spinoff to its Seadragon technology. (Seadragon is best known as the technology powering Deep Zoom, a seamless-browsing feature of Microsoft's Silverlight.) The new spinoff, known as Seadragon Ajax, allows users to embed a Deep Zoom viewer in their blogs, Web sites, or "even your eBay listing."

From the Seadragon Ajax site:

"There are plenty of times when you want to see something closer, to get a good look at the texture of a sculpture, or find out if that's a reflection or a scratch on that used car you're looking at.

"Seadragon, implemented as the Deep Zoom feature of Silverlight, allows you to do that.  But what if you're not using the Silverlight platform?  That's what Seadragon Ajax is for....

"By using the Seadragon Ajax wizard, you can get Deep Zoom functionality without having to write complex code."

The embeddable viewer is set to be available for download from the site. (but was rendering "page not found" when I tried it).

(Given the timing of the release of Seadragon Ajax, I wonder if Microsoft is using it as one of its counterstrikes against Adobe's newly released "Thermo," a tool aimed at designers that reduces their need to write code.)

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Office Labs -- a mash-up of Microsoft Researchers and Office developers -- posted information on November 18 on a newly released test applet known as "Sticky Sorter," which is targeted specifically to address the needs of affinity diagrammers. From the Office Labs site:

"As you probably know, there are many products out there that allow you to create virtual sticky notes; however StickySorter is quite different and unique.  We designed our application specifically for tasks that involve organizing large amounts of information."

A test version of Sticky Sorter is available for download from the Office Labs site.

Microsoft is using its growing family of labs to turn research projects more rapidly into commercialized products/technologies. Most of the deliverables from the various Microsoft labs, to date, have tend to be very specifically focused wares more likely to become components of existing products and services than standalone products themselves.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Software, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Silverlight? No thanks.

    If it depends on the user having Silverlight installed, forget it. I'm not
    going to alienate my viewers by insulting their intelligence with the
    assumption that they're stupid enough to trust Microsoft's browser
    security. "This time we've got it right". Sure.
    • did you read this part?

      <i>Seadragon, implemented as the Deep Zoom feature of Silverlight, allows you to do that. But what if you?re not using the Silverlight platform? That?s what Seadragon Ajax is for?.

      ?By using the Seadragon Ajax wizard, you can get Deep Zoom functionality without having to write complex code.?
      I'm not positive, but i'm thinking they mean you don't need Silverlight to use Sea Dragon. <br><br>
      You know, Resuna, i've read many of your posts, responded to virtually none but i've respected your intelligence and what you've had to say in the past. <br><br>
      But this time around, i have to wonder is there any point for a Windows user to come to a forum any longer? I mean is it just down on MS for everything now? <br><br>
      Silverlight is cross platform. It works with IE, it works with safari, and extended support to FF for 1.0. I know Mozilla has access to and everything it needs to make 2.0 work. That's not happened yet? <br><br>
      I've also read it works with opera.
      So even if it did need Silverlight, what's the big deal? Please don't say it's only because MS makes Silverlight.
      • You are correct.... don't need Silverlight to use Sea Dragon.
        I have Opera, so I opened it up and surfed over to and it displayed correctly on my lil laptop, but I did install that silverlight 2.0 last week-
        T Mike
  • RE: Silverlight? No thanks...

    Read the article: "The new spinoff, known as Seadragon Ajax, allows users to embed a Deep Zoom viewer in their blogs, Web sites, or even your eBay listing." In other words, if I am reading this correctly, you will not have to have Silverlight installed if the author of the site, blog or even E-bay listing embeds the viewer into the page.
  • RE: Two more Microsoft Labs deliverables debut

    How is having silverlight installed different than the Flash player? I can't remember the number of security vulnerabilities found in that piece of software.

    While I don't completely buy the market penetration theory of security bugs (namely, the number of security bugs discovered is directly proportional to your market share), there is something to it. Software projects which run on a huge number of machines are targeted by malware developers.

    The second bit I don't get, you appear to hate microsoft simply for the sheer joy of hating them. How is that different than hating Apple for the same reason?
    Rob Oakes
  • Deep Zoom...

    must be an MSFT version of Deep Doo-Doo, just the
    thing we should expect from the purveyors of Vista,
    Zune, PlaysForSure, WinMo, SPoT, LiveSearch, Xbox, ie,

    Is it not far past the time to suggest that this heap of
    rotting dung be shut down and the funds returned to
    the shareholders?

    Plainly, Ballmer and his crew know nothing except how
    to deliver muscular failure. Wow, they want to turn R
    into D. What a concept!

    Jeremy W
    • Jer Bear!!

      Your presence is always a delight and filled with good cheer. <br><br>
      Have you ever seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind"?
  • RE: Two more Microsoft Labs deliverables debut

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