Friday, May 16, 2008

Free telescope by Microsoft

Microsoft has launched a new software that is expected to create waves in the world of astronomy and Internet, WorldWideTelescope. However this is more of a surprise to most of us because you can download this free. Yeah you read it right.. It is absolutely free. It has been launched on May 13 2008 (Got the date from a news web site). The link was forwarded to me by a friend. I was curious to explore and started accessing the link.

Here are some of my observations with the telescope software:

  • The website UI looks sophisticated and matured with the night sky in the background.
  • The installation procedure is pretty easy but takes long time. The installation file(setupwwt.exe) is of size 20.8 MB. Download it from the website and run it. The installation file will in turn start downloading necessary files (Microsoft .Net 2.0 and others).
  • The application has a very good, mature UI. Something I liked (I want to learn how you do such a good UI design :) ). But it was slow, memory problem I guess. However the screen too many options and you have get used to it before gaining some comfort level in navigating across the screen.
  • Lots of images, I read that the application has access to around 12 tera bytes of data.

I heard about a similar venture from Google few months ago. Sometime back Google had launched a software Google sky which provides easy way to access to images of astronomical bodies. It is available as a plug in to Google earth or as a link through which you can start using the facility directly without downloading.

However I found that,

  • You can easily access the facility. No need of any installation procedure. :)
  • The UI is pretty simple. No unnecessary options. It is fast. :)

The images are good in both the applications.

At the end of the day, I would prefer:

For UI and looks: WorldWideTelescope.

For the ease of use: Google Sky.

Microsoft might have launched WorldWideTelescope as a response to Google Sky. However it has dedicated this application to Jim Gray, the brain behind the entire application. Jim Gray is missing since Jan 28 after he went on a solo boating trip.

That’s all for now. Happy exploring !!!

Links :


Google sky

Jim Gray


Sadhana said...

Thats a good one.. I was exploring some astronomical facts yeterday.. n today here I'm reading this post.. :)

Browse this site for some more wonderful flash files as well as pictures.


Nanditha Prabhu said...

thanks for visiting me !
will keep in touch from now on you have a wonderful place here too:)
i am more than glad if you add me in your blogroll as you have asked.