Google vs Microsoft. Space images at your fingertips

Google SkyGoogle, has had for some time now a feature in Google Earth which allows you to view space by simply flipping the camera. From your view menu you can select “switch to sky” and your perspective switches to the heavens above. From there you can simply type in names of any constellation, star, moon, etc. and your perspective will change to show you those items. It also has some nice features, such as current sky events, and many education links to get you off to a quick start.

Google Sky

worldwide telescopeNew to this game possibly is Microsoft. Always one to stick their noses in numerous areas comes Microsoft Worldwide Telescope. At first glance the application seems polished and well integrated. I found the application to be a little sluggish in loading some of the imagery but that is where this application truly shines. It has an extensive collection of imagery from numerous sources. The downside from my perspective was that the application is so extensive. It was a little hard for me to know where to go. I could break down and view demos or for that matter read the manual, but I didn’t.

WorldWide Telescope

Both applications allow you to view the sky or earth. I found Google’s application to be slightly less complicated to use and more interactive on my system. The Microsoft tool certainly seems more feature rich. One note is the Microsoft application is still in beta and I have noticed some quirks. One quirk was that it has a tendency to control your cursor even if the application isn’t currently the foremost window. At any rate, two great tools to enjoy our wondrous Universe.