Microsoft Telescope is revealed (on your desktop)

Google Sky was launched in August 2007 and today Microsoft releases its much anticipated Telescope. Telescope is cool to

use, but please note that you have to download client code (and this applies even to the "Take a tour" promotional site, which you reach after clicking on "Experience it."). And you have to sign no fewer than TWO EULAs -- first to get the Telescope code and then to install the DirectX runtime package necessary to use Telescope. (This also comes with allowing Microsoft to look for and install critical .Net updates, too). For Google Sky, you simply point your browser to the page and start star gazing.

Granted, not all of Google's projects are 100% in the cloud -- Google Earth requires some client-code too, as does Microsoft's knock-off, er, version of that, Microsoft Virtual Earth.

Now, the story with Telescope is that it was dedicated to Jim Gray, a Microsoft Researcher who sailed out of San Francisco Bay about a year and a half ago and never came back. Gray apparently inspired this project with a paper back in 2001. However, seems as if Microsoft's interest in bringing this project to life was really kicked into gear by its never ceasing goal to play keeping-up-with-the-Jone's with Google.

Go to the Microsoft Subnet home page for more news, blogs, podcasts.

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