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Microsoft Mobile GUI Has Debut on Apple iPhone

Microsoft Live Labs announced on Saturday that its Seadragon Mobile graphical user interface (GUI) is now available for the Apple iPhone as a technical preview release, but Windows Mobile users will have to wait to get it.

The application, released at version 1.0, provides a GUI that lets users access photos and text via a mobile touch-screen interface. Microsoft acquired the technology when it bought Seattle-based Seadragon Software in February of 2006.

Microsoft released Seadragon Mobile to the Apple platform first because of its hardware support. A Blackberry or Nokia device would typically lack the requisite GPU, explained Alex Daley, Microsoft Live Labs group product manager, cited in an article by Todd Bishop.

The announcement issued by Microsoft Live Labs did not indicate when users of Microsoft's mobile platform might get their hands on Seadragon Mobile.

The Seadragon Mobile interface lets users scroll and zoom into archives of images. However, it currently lacks "browse Photosynth functionality," according to a blog. Microsoft Photosynth is a service that assembles shared digital photos into three-dimensional panoramic views.

Photosynth and Microsoft Silverlight both feature a "deep zoom" capability, which allows users to smoothly scroll through and magnify images. The technology can be enabled on Web sites using Seadragon Ajax, an application written in JavaScript that provides a deep zoom viewer. Microsoft released Seadragon Ajax last month.

Seadragon Mobile is currently available as a free download from the Apple iTunes App Store here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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