Although big dollar amounts are sunk into Microsoft R&D, they are not know for cool new technology. Microsoft is not revolutionary. Until I saw the following presentation at TED by Blaise Aguera y Arcas about PhotoSynth. Wow! WOW!
Similar to the purchase of Keyhole by Google, Microsoft Mergers and Acquisitions deserves part of the applause. In 2006, "Microsoft Live Labs recently acquired Seattle-based Seadragon Inc."
Seadragon has 10 employees and was founded in Princeton, N.J., in 2003 by Blaise Agüera y Arcas, then a graduate student at Princeton University. He moved the company to Seattle's Ballard neighborhood in January 2004 after his wife, a computational neuroscientist, received a faculty appointment at the University of Washington.Unfortunately some of the marketing slant for PhotoSynth is "cool new tourism app". Oh nooo, don't call it that. Just think about the possibilities of a Flickr + Google Earth + Photosynth webapp. Droooool. Where's DARPA when you need it to sponsor something like that.
Microsoft Live Labs - PhotoSynth