“We are excited to be developing technologies that weave software, hardware, and services into every aspect of our lives, thereby advancing toward the goal of making computers genuinely useful — We see a future in which computers interact with people the way we interact with each other, think ahead to anticipate and meet our needs, and support us as we make the most of our ideas, efforts, and intellect.”
Joulemeter is a software tool that estimates the power consumption of your computer. It tracks computer resources, such as CPU utilization and screen brightness, and estimates power usage.
System Requirements: Windows 7
With HD View, you can view and interact with very large images on the Web. HD View supports smooth panning and zooming, as well as appropriate viewing perspectives as you zoom in and out. HD View also makes creating and hosting your own HD View images easy. HD View is available as a plug-in for Windows-based browsers, including Internet Explorer and Firefox.
System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32-bit version).
Microsoft Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. Given a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, the application creates a high-resolution panorama that seamlessly combines the original images.
The stitched panorama can be shared with friends and viewed in 3D by uploading it to the Photosynth web site. Or the panorama can be saved in a wide variety of image formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to the multiresolution tiled format used by Silverlight’s Deep Zoom and by the HD View and HD View SL panorama viewers.
System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
Download 64 bit version here.
Ever found yourself lost in the eye of a brainstorm? Lots of great information, but it’s all over the place! Sticky Sorter is a Grassroots Project, developed by two Microsoft Employees, that you can use today to manage such challenges.
The inventors, Julie and Sumit, were looking for an easier way to capture, sift through, and organize hundreds of research observations traditionally done on physical sticky notes in an affinity diagramming exercise with researchers from around the world.
The result is StickySorter which met their complex needs, supports virtual collaboration, and is now available for you to use in managing your next brainstorm.
System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 with .Net Framework 2.0.
Touchless is an Office Labs Grassroots Project that started from an idea Mike Wasserman, a Microsoft Office Graphics developer, started during his college days to create multi-touch experience using a webcam. Through Office Labs sponsorship, Mike’s weekend hobby turned into an open-source prototype, currently available for download.
With just a webcam and color markers, you can get a taste of Touchless through the multi-touch demos provided. Play a pong-like game, rotate maps, control a snake, and draw with markers. If you’re someone technical, the Software Development Kit (SDK) is available for you to view, contribute to the code, or create your own multi-touch applications to help explore the possibilities.
System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Webcam
Bonus – Not free, but free trials:
Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC’s microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos.
System Requirements: Windows XP (SP2), Vista, Windows 7
Researchers from all disciplines and the Cambridge Innovation Development team worked together, building Digital Tapestry and AutoCollage research into a new product. Face detection, saliency filters, and other Microsoft research identifies interesting parts of pictures. Advanced object selection and blending technologies seamlessly combine these pieces into a beautiful new AutoCollage.
System Requirements: Windows XP (SP3), Vista, Windows 7
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.