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Microsoft WorldWide Telescope 5.5.03

Microsoft's answer to Google Sky is the perfect way to take a gorgeous tour of the cosmos

by Mike Williams

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:

Discrete graphics card with 512 MB VRAM, DirectX 10 or DirectX 11 compatibility, high-end GTX 480 class or better, and 1 GB VRAM recommended. Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0.

Languages: English, German, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 11 September 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 6793
Developer: Microsoft
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MIcrosoft WorldWide Telescope
A gorgeous way to tour the cosmos

WorldWide Telescope is a free Microsoft Research application and online resource that uses high resolution space imagery to turn your PC into a virtual telescope.

You can start by clicking and dragging on the night sky, using the mouse scroll button to zoom in on any planet, moon or star that appeals. There's a great deal of empty space between the interesting bits, but fortunately Microsoft have also provided some shortcuts at the bottom of the screen. By default this is set to the solar system, and so a quick double-click will have you admiring Earth, wondering if there really is life on Mars, or marvelling at the beautiful rings of Saturn.

This is just the start, though. If you want to take a much closer look at Mars, say, then choose the Panorama option and pick one of the Pathfinder options. This will display a 360 degree panorama shot of the desolate Martian landscape, that you can rotate with your mouse. No matter how many NASA pictures you've seen, this somehow provides a much more immersive experience, a far clearer way of understanding what the planet is really like. And there are more than 50 of these panoramas to explore.

When you're tired of the solar system then it's easy to head into deep space, where you can view gorgeous photos from Hubble, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and many other sources. And perhaps the best feature is the guided tours, which zoom you around galaxies, nebulae, dark holes and more, while top astronomers deliver clear and accessible narrations describing exactly what you're seeing.

Verdict:

A fascinating, fun and (gently) educational way to explore the universe

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (build 1809)

Free Full Commercial Software

This is the latest version of Windows October 2018 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a Windows 8 twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

Fall Creators Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO here will give you build 1809 which is the October 2018 Update.

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