back to article Microsoft's Photosynth falls out of cloud

Microsoft today released a free photo-stitching tool that runs in the cloud – sadly for Redmond, at time of writing Photosynth is having a little lie-down. At a demo of the software at the London Eye this morning, Microsoft enthusiast evangelist Paul Foster told El Reg that the firm was keeping its fingers crossed that the …


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  1. Eddie


    I was going to post that it was working fine - but then it crashed my machine....

    Ah well, the bit I saw looked good.


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu is cooler!

    When you try to run Photosynth in Firefox on Ubuntu the following message is shown:

    "Unfortunately, we're not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows."

    Blimey, Microsoft actually admitting that Linux is cooler than Windows. Whatever next?!

  3. Humph

    Not a promising start

    I get:

    " Oops... the leaves fell off and we're temporarily unable to load that page.

    If you go back a page and try again it may work just fine. If not, check out our support site for more information. "

    If I try to click on anything picturey.

    You might have thought a bit of testing may have been performed before being given over to the public. Not that they ever seem to bother testing their OSes so not sure why I expected to view a working/usable product.

  4. Geoff Mackenzie

    Loving the comedy error messages

    Couldn't someone working on those have had a crack at sorting the underlying issues though? Also, I have to say:

    "Microsoft Live Labs developed the technology in tandem with researchers at the University of Washington over the past two years" - i.e. MS bankrolled University of Washington research.

    "The viewer uses technology from Seadragon, a company bought by Microsoft in February 2006." - i.e. The viewer *is* technology from Seadragon.

  5. Don Mitchell

    Nice work

    I'm glad to see they got Photosynth out the door. Glitches are typical when research hackers try to turn their code into a product. It's hard for academics to let go and allow the systems management people to take over. They really should release an SDK someday.

    There's a nice TED talk about this technology here:

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ubuntu is cooler

    Why would you try with Ubuntu when it was clear it was Windows only? To see in between addressing capacity issues they whipped up a Linux friendly version?

  7. James Butler


    Not sure what definition of "3D" you're using, but this ain't it.

    This is a standard "2D" (x-axis + y-axis) panorama with zooming capability.

    "3D" = x-axis + y-axis + z-axis = width + height + depth (not zoom)

    Find out more about "3D" on the web:

  8. Don Mitchell

    SeaDragon and Photosynth

    By the way, the database system, Sea Dragon, was purchased. I'm not sure what role it plays, but the actual Photosynth project was in-house (Rick Szeliski and his cohorts at Live Labs and MS Research). They did one of the most capable image panarama stitchers some years ago (the only reason to buy Microsoft Digital Image Suite). There are a lot of free stitchers out there, I've used them all, but nobody can even hold a candle to Szeliski's algorithms.

  9. Kobus Botes
    Dead Vulture

    Falling yes, as it is certainly Not Flying

    It seems to have died completely now (19:00 GMT). I tried to connect to it from Linux (*before* I saw that it was MS only) and received the following message:

    "Server Error

    The following error occurred:

    [code=SERVER_RESPONSE_RESET] The server response could not be read because of an error. Contact your system administrator.

    Please contact the administrator."

    Upon seeing the MS only message I checked from an XP machine, only to receive the same message. As I am able to happily browse the rest of the Internet, I reckon it is safe to ignore the message about contacting my system administrator (which I also happen to be, incidentally, but that is besides the point).

    Then again, maybe it objected to my Linux proxy server?

    Dead vulture, as it seems to be a dead duck (for the moment, at least).

  10. Tom Chiverton

    Flash, but windows only ?

    What sort of half arsed Flash is this then ? Not the normal one, obviously...

  11. Gaz Davidson
    Gates Halo


    @James Butler

    It does actually generate a rather impressive 3D point cloud from the 2D images, logical progression is to stitch the outsides of those into a convex hull and apply an average of the photographs as a texture. The hard problem is already solved.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    It does not use Flash!

    Get facts right!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    This is so cooooool

    The coolest technology I have seen for a long time... Well impressed!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    it dozent run on faiarfoks and lainaks

    i traid very hard but it dozent run i gets only de error messajis. so for de taim biing, i fotostich wiz mah cannon camrah or de gimpz

  15. Marcus Bointon

    It does run in VMWare

    On the installation page it says that it will not work in VMWare Fusion or Parallels on a Mac. I'm amazed they even spared the pixels to say that at all, but it's not true anyway. If you enable DirectX 9 support in VMWare 2 beta, it works just fine. I was also surprised to find that it worked just fine in Firefox too.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @Ubuntu is cooler


    Unfortunately, we're not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows.

    Trust us, as soon as we have a Mac version ready, it will be up and available on our site.


    I think you'll find they were referring to Mac. Remember, linux doesnt exist in their eyes unless it comes to patent infringment.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @This is so cooooool

    So cool in fact that they used it on last weeks CSI:NY

    Add your own sarcasm if you wish.

    Me like.

  18. Joe K


    I dunno about the rest of you, but that thing makes me feel quite motion sick after a while.

  19. Pete Burgess
    Thumb Down

    Just tried it

    and to be honest, it's a bit shit...

  20. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Up

    Flash over silverlight: Smart!

    For once the micros**t marketing department made a smart choice --- if they'd gone with silverlight and the thing crashed and flamed as webby2.0 apps are bound to, this would have cost them even more silverlight-interest --- those are paying customers, as opposed to these photostitchers.

    Even if silverlight were innocent of flaming death, it would still be suspect.

  21. PaulH

    Used in Virtual Earth

    The 3D view in (Virtual Earth, the equivalent of Google Earth), uses the same method to show the 3D location of "Bird's Eye View" pictures - aerial photos taken at an angle so that you can see the sides of buildings.

    (And it's an interesting alternative to Google Street View.)

  22. Anonymous Coward


    "Unfortunately, we're not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows.

    Trust us, as soon as we have a Mac version ready, it will be up and available on our site."

    I'm on a Compaq nc600 lappy running Windows 2000 pro.

    I love Microsoft...LOL

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    uh hoes?

    oh noes! no cross platform compatibility? i wish someone would bitch slap developers who release software and all that jazz before realizing Mac OS and Linux are indeed out there and being used. OOhh how tempting it is to post a large pile of doggy poop through their office letterbox just to show how "happy" they make me.

    Paris Hilton because apparently the world of technology confuses them, just as shoe laces confuse her.

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