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MS debuts stargazing app with "Mac" support

updated 09:10 am EDT, Tue May 13, 2008

MS WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft today kicked off the public beta of WorldWide Telescope, a downloadable app built for browsing the viewable universe. The software uses an Internet database to provide high-detail images of nebulas and other astronomical objects without requiring a large download; a unique approach stitches together images to create a seemingly unified view that uses terabytes' worth of data. The system is also unique in providing the views from specific telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and allowing users to switch between viewing X-rays and observable light.

Views are also available from the Opportunity and Spirit Mars rovers, Microsoft adds.

The software is available for free and offers tours guided by expert astronomers, making WorldWide Telescope useful for students as well as those who prefer guidance rather than exploring on their own. Microsoft uses relatively advanced 3D for the device and demands a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better, 1GB of memory, and a dedicated video chipset with at least 128MB of memory.

In an unusual claim, however, Microsoft also suggests the app supports Macs but only through Boot Camp, with Windows still necessary for the software. The Redmond, Washington-based company also elevates specs and suggests the Apple computers require a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo as well as a higher resolution (1440x900 versus 1024x768) display. The company additionally is confused regarding specifications and claims WorldWide Telescope is supported by Mac OS X 10.2 systems despite the old platform's lack of support for Intel-based Macs and Boot Camp; it also claims a requirement for an HFS+ file system, which is unsupported by Windows.

Microsoft has been contacted regarding the discrepancy, but has yet to address the concerns.

By Electronista Staff


  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001



    This is intentional on Microsoft's part. They are trying to sow confusion about the Mac's support for Windows, and the need for the Mac OS on Apple hardware.

  1. Nai no Kami

    Senior User

    Joined: Aug 2000



    Yeah. Golden Axe is also Mac compatible... through MAME.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004


    by this logic

    every single WIN app is "mac compatible"

  1. Horsepoo!!!


    Joined: Jun 2003


    MS Trickery

    Mother effers...Instead of reading the entire article, I click on the link and try to find the Mac version...confused that I couldn't find it, I hit the back button and continue to read this article to find out that 'compatible' means Boot Camp (or a virtualization software.

    I had great respect for MS for about one minute...until I discovered that the Mac version doesn't actually exist. At which point my respect for MS sunk even lower than before.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    part of the plan...

    By doing this, MS is trying to lead the way for other developers to be more "Mac" compatible and save money at the same time, by just dumping the Mac version and boot-camping the mac compatibility.

    (Technically they are correct, since they didn't say it was OS X compatible. However, it doesn't work on my G5 tower. But it can go both ways. Apple could say Final Cut Pro is PC-compatible, assuming you have a hackintosh.)

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Very lame

    and misleading. I am talking about the MacNN headline.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    A Sham

    This is such a sham. NASA should be flogged, publicly, for taking data that was paid for by American taxpayers and turning it into a proprietary Microsoft application.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    re: very lame

    It's not a lame headline at all. Perhaps you should go research what quotation marks represent.

  1. jfelbab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004


    MS is clueless

    MS obviously has a different concept of the term "Mac Compatible" than the rest of the world. This just proves that they still don't get it and probably never will. This was their opportunity to bring me back to having a MS app on my Mac. Guess it's best that I don't go back to the dark side anyway. I've been perfectly happy with out them for the past couple years and see now that there is no reason to even consider their bloatware/software. iWork functions even better for me than Office ever did. I don't miss MS a bit. Thanks for the reminder, MS, of how much you really don't get it.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999



    Strange .. McAfee detects the trojan "PUPER" when I install the software... I think its time to wait and see if this is just mistake .. could be, but then again... who knows

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