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Microsoft Ships Photosynth Plug-in for Firefox

Microsoft is shipping a Firefox plug-in version of its Photosynth 3D photo processing software technology preview.

First demonstrated last year, Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-dimensional space. Up until now, however, it was a Microsoft Internet Explorer-only browser application.

"After we released the technology preview in November we saw a number of requests for a version that would work in Firefox," Adam Sheppard, group product manager for Live Labs said in a blog post this week. "Live Labs is committed to making our technologies available to the widest possible audience, and today we're happy to announce the availability of the Photosynth Firefox plugin."

To date, Photosynth only works with photos that have been provided by Microsoft, although the company is working to make the processing technology available to end users, according to company statements.

The rub is that processing a bunch of photos requires a large number of CPU cycles to perform the matching between images and for larger datasets this can take hours or sometimes days of processing.

Photosynth is a collaboration between Microsoft's Live Labs and the University of Washington.

Photosynth is available here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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