Download of the day: Microsoft Worldwide Telescope

Oh, Microsoft, with your outlandish product names!

Everybody loves to make jokes about Microsoft, but while it does do the odd daft thing it’s also home to an incredible combination: some of the finest minds on the planet and an enormous bucket of money.

That means it comes up with brilliant ideas such as Microsoft Worldwide Telescope, which enables you to access the world’s most powerful telescopes from wherever you’ve perched your PC.

Why you need it

How many apps enable you to explore the entire universe without you even having to get on a bus, let lone train to be an astronaut? You can roam around solo trying to spot space aliens, or you can take a guided tour with narration from astronomers and educators showing you the most interesting things in the heavens above us. It’s touch-friendly if your PC has a touchscreen.

Oh, and it also doubles as a time machine. Microsoft World Telescope can take you 2,000 years backwards in time or project you 2,000 years forwards into the future. Sadly that’s not far enough back to meet dinosaurs or far enough forward to experience the fiery death of the sun, but it’s still 4,000 years of astronomical amazingness.

Download here: Microsoft Worldwide Telescope

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall (Twitter, Google+) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to .net, MacFormat, Tap! and Official Windows Magazine as well as co-writing stacks of how-to tech books. "My job is to cut through the crap," he says. "And there's a lot of crap."