According to TechCrunch, Microsoft is set to unveil a product called “Worldwide Telescope” on February 27. This product will be used through a Windows-only downloadable application.
It sounds a whole lot like the “Sky Mode” in Google Earth. From the article:
Users will be able to pan around the nighttime sky and zoom as far in to any one area as the data will allow. Microsoft is said to be tapping the Hubble telescope as well as ten or so earth bound telescopes around the world for data. When you find an area you like, you can switch to a number of different views, such as infrared and non-visible light.
They say it will be much better than Google Sky for two reasons:
- More data, which sounds reasonable. I don’t have the numbers to say for sure if that’s accurate or not, but it certainly sounds like this will launch with a TON of data.
- A better user interface, which is “seamless as you move around the sky and zoom in and out”.
I don’t know about you, but Sky mode in Google Earth is pretty seamless to me, especially with the SpaceNavigator. I sure hope Microsoft includes support for it when they release this new product.