I am so fed up with all the Apple retards, Google suck-ups and other assorted anti-Micro$oft wankers. Yes the company has its problems and I am the first one to shout it from the highest hills, but to claim that a company which spends more money on research and development than some small countries national GDP doesn’t innovate is stupid and myopic.
There is also this impression that the company is stuck in some sort of time warp where Windows is, and will always be king of the hill. Granted they definitely don’t help themselves in this regard but ask anyone who watch Microsoft closely (@maryjofoley and @edbott come to mind right off the bat) and they’ll be the first one’s to point you to things like Singularity, Midori, and MinWin – all of which are different research projects into the next operating system.
Then there are things like Photosyth and Worldwide Telescope that have caused more than their fair share of ooohs and aawwws – hell even the Worldwide Telescope brought one famous tech blogger to tears, or so Scoble says. But even in the world of the mundane everyday things Microsoft has created tools that are incredibly useful and show a difference in thinking. Both OneNote and Windows Live Writer, a blog editor that has even Apple fans running in a virtual box because they love it so much, fall into this category.
Now today we see another project coming out of Microsoft Research (thanks to @sarahintampa for the tip) called Microsoft Street Slide that already has much of the tech blogosphere talking and more importantly … wanting it right now. It may not sound like much but it puts things like Street View to shame according to those who have seen it in action.
Remember the first time you used Google Street View? Amazing, right? Thing is, traversing a busy urban street in a 360-degree photographic bubble can be disorienting, especially when searching for a specific address or business. So check this: Microsoft Research has developed a rather nifty solution it calls Street Slide. Zoom out of your panoramic bubble and the street is presented as a dynamic, multi-perspective “strip” giving you an instant visual summary of the surroundings — similar to viewing the entire street from a distance. Fortunately, Microsoft took advantage of what would otherwise be the unused letterboxed screen above and below the strip to add navigational and informational aids like clickable business logos and building numbers. Pretty impressive, and Microsoft is already working on taking Street Slide mobile with an iPhone port, and no doubt a version for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 series of devices.
Street side images on maps are terrific but they can be problematic at times as you get stuck in the bubble of the camera view and struggle to get a real world perspective on the street. Step in Street Slide from Microsoft Research. Presented at SIGGRAPH 2010 this week, Street Slide gives you a strip view of the street. As always, seeing it is much easier then being told so check out the video above. If you’re hardcore, you’ll read the full PDF from the MSR team behind this. I have. Just kidding. No I’m not.
With Street Slide, the researchers took the best aspects of the “immersive bubbles” and transformed them into multi-perspective strip panoramas. You can actually slide out of a bubble to see the street from a different perspective – a strip that’s viewed from a greater difference. When viewed in this mode, the empty space above and below the strip could be used for business logos and building numbers (addresses), or even ads.
According to the MIT article, the researchers have already made a version of this technology for mobile devices, including the iPhone. “It broadens out your visual sense to cover a two-block radius,” says Michael Cohen, a senior scientist at Microsoft Research.
Here is the video courtesy of Engadet
The fact is that Microsoft is constantly looking forward even if the majority of the tech blogosphere refuses to acknowledge as they stroke their Google and Apple woodies. So the next time some dweeb idiot tries to tell you that Microsoft doesn’t know how to innovate tell them to shut the fuck up until they really know what they are talking about.