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Microsoft releases amazing Seadragon Mobile app- for the iPhone

Microsoft has surprised a few folks with the release of Seadragon Mobile for the iPhone.  Yes, it is only available for the iPhone which I’m sure surprised quite a few partners making Windows Mobile phones.  Seadragon Mobile is a showcase for some amazing technology that allows smooth display of images no matter the physical constraints of the screen.  It is worth checking out if you have an iPhone and want to see how cool working with images can be.  From Microsoft Live Labs, makers of Seadragon:

"The aim of Seadragon is nothing less than to change the way we usescreens, from wall-sized displays all the way down to cell phones, sothat graphics and photos are smoothly browsed, regardless of the amountof data or the bandwidth of the network."

The technology is amazing and if you have an iPhone you must check it out.  Look at this video of the technology being demoed by Blaise Aguera y Arcas:

http://static.videoegg.com/ted/flash/loader.swf

So why did Microsoft release this app for the iPhone and not its own Windows Mobile platform?  Alex Daly, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs:

"The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphicsprocessing unit)," Daley explained. "Most phones out today don’t haveaccelerated graphics in them  The iPhone does and so it enabled us todo something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn’t justpick up a Blackberry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon forit without GPU support."

So the answer is simple- Windows Mobile devices cannot run Seadragon so we had to go with the iPhone.  There must be a few embarrassed folks at Microsoft this morning, at least there should be.

(via ReadWriteWeb)

5 Responses to “Microsoft releases amazing Seadragon Mobile app- for the iPhone”

  1. @PacoBell: Really? Killer App? Wow. A program that allows library viewing and being able to do ‘Deep Zoom’ on an image?

    Clearly we have different hopes and needs for our pocket devices.

    Then again, I’m still waiting for a native landscape-mode keyboard and the ability to play the audio and video files I do on my 3 year old Palm….

    But hey, if Seadragon is ‘It’ for you, then I’m glad for you. Really.

  2. @Baz: Yes, you’re supposed to be excited. It’s friggin’ _Seadragon_! On a mobile device! And given how dead simple and intuitive the platform and software has made it to pan and zoom, I’d say it hardly qualifies as “pointless”. This is the app I’ve been waiting for on WinMo and now the killer app (for me) for the iPhone.

  3. Don’t blame Microsoft because hardware vendors have not included GPU chips in their phones. Maybe this will get them to upgrade their offerings with Graphics acceleration.

  4. Oh, I don’t want to spit on what these kids are doing – cause it’s a really cool ultimate extension of data in the ‘verse.

    No, what I want to spit on, as a loyal, seven year user of Win Mobile systems is Microsoft’s apparent acknowledgment of how I have misplaced my consumer dollars by not buying into the better mobile tech base.

    Jerks, you have had development money, skill and time that’s almost unimaginable and you have squandered it on… I don’t know exactly what. Every time I read about Apple eating your lunch and stealing market share I can only think how much you deserve it. With the distribution of WinMobile since the WinCE days, you had years of “boots on the ground” development time ahead of Apple and chose to spend it on… Origami, I guess. Well, how’s that working out for you?

    Just bitter and angry to see all the sexy and all the coolness going to the new kid who’s barely had two years in the market. Way to blow your lead, Redmond.

  5. So we’re meant to get excited by an image viewing program as presented by Microsoft as their first iPhone App?

    Coolness aside, exactly how pointless is it, especially on a screen the size of an iPhone / Touch? Pity they were lulled by the siren call of the App Store’s more useless software side and couldn’t have devoted some R&D into, say, a doc program with cross program cut and paste.

    Then again, I guess that could potentially cut into their WinMob base, so best to present iPhone users with whiz-bang toys instead.