Microsoft hopes to move light years beyond Google Earth with a new software app called WorldWide Telescope, which TechCrunch and other blogs say will be released on Feb. 27 at the TED Conference. According to the report, the telescope collects data from the Hubble telescope and others, allowing users to tool around the nighttime sky and zoom into stars, planets, constellations and zoom in as far as the telescopes can, using different views like infrared and non-visible light.
"From what we hear, WorldWide Telescope will be significantly better than Google Sky," says TechCrunch's Michael Arrington. Google Sky launched last August as an add-on to Google Earth. Arrington says the key will be the user interface, which will be similar to Google Earth, except that it shows the universe instead of just Earth.