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Microsoft finally jumps on iPhone bandwagon

Seadragon Mobile App
Seadragon Mobile App

Microsoft has decided that the battle lines drawn between its own Windows Mobile platform and Apple's iPhone can actually be blurred after the release of its first app for the handset, Seadragon Mobile.

Live Labs developers have come up with an application that allows users to 'deep zoom' into images when online as part of a program to highlight the possibilities of what a mobile handset can do.

It works by storing multiple versions of the images in a variety of resolutions and then only shipping the one that the user needs at the right time, thus bypassing bandwidth constraints.

Seadragon Mobile is a diluted form of Seadragon, the core to Microsoft's Photosynth program, which allows users to stitch their photographic adventures together to create a visual tapestry.

The app was added to the iPhone App Store on Saturday, which we assumed followed many days of the Apple app-vetting team having a good laugh and sending emails to co-workers to tell them about it.

Hardware lacking

But why hasn't it been brought to the Windows Mobile platform yet? Well, according to TechFlash, the hardware just isn't there yet.

"The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphics processing unit)," said Alex Daley, Group Product Manager for Microsoft Live Labs.

"Most phones out today don't have accelerated graphics in them. The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn't just pick up a Blackberry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support."

Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth was in charge of phones, tablets and wearables at TechRadar for the best part of a decade and now runs the entire editorial team. He can instantly recommend the best phone for you, or can be found running around the nearest park with the latest fitness tech strapped to his wrist, head or any other applicable body part.