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January 28, 2006

Microsoft acquires Seadragon Software

Posted by David Hunter at 8:53 PM ET.

At the MSN Search Champs event last week, both Dan Farber and Alex Barnett report that it was announced (somewhat informally by Gary Flake, the new head of Microsoft Live Labs) that Microsoft had acquired Seadragon Software. Kim Peterson at the Seattle Times has the details:

Microsoft is acquiring Seadragon Software, a Seattle-based company developing technologies that could be used across several of the software giant’s businesses, including Web search, cellphone services, mapping and digital-photo programs.

The acquisition was expected to close as early as yesterday, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Terms were not made public, and neither Seadragon nor Microsoft would comment on the matter Friday.

The Seadragon web site describes their technology as providing

… the ability to view and interact with collections of high-resolution images, vector graphics, applets or other documents, locally or remotely, at any visual scale and in an environment that allows fluid navigation in two or three dimensions.

There are no visual discontinuities; information continuously “comes into focus” as it becomes available.

If that seems a trifle abstract, check out the demos on the web site and you’ll see the relevance to Windows Live Local among other possibilities. Seadragon was founded in 2003 by Blaise Ag├╝era y Arcas who holds a number of key patents in this area. It has received at least one round of VC funding. More details by following the links and also from John Cook at the Seattle PI.

Update: Robert Scoble says he can’t talk, but that he saw a Seadragon demo last week. He’s somewhat more effusive over at Channel 9. It looks like this one was announced prematurely.

Filed under Acquisitions, Live Search Maps, Windows Live

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4 Responses to “Microsoft acquires Seadragon Software”

  1. ThePodcastNetwork :: G’day World » Blog Archive » Gday World #80 Says:

    [...] Microsoft buying Seadragon [...]

  2. Seadragon: The Case of the Missing Merger -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] You may remember the story from last week about Microsoft acquiring Seadragon Software. Well, there was apparently some sort of slip between the cup and the lip, because all mention of it has disappeared and no one is talking. Todd Bishop at the Seattle PI: Despite reports last week that Microsoft acquired Seadragon Software as part of its new Live Labs initiative, the pending deal apparently isn’t yet to the point that the companies are willing to officially acknowledge it. [...]

  3. Microsoft Weekly Miscellany, November 10, 2006 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft’s Live Labs And Microsoft Research launched a tech preview of Photosynth, an application that blends ordinary photos into an immersive 3D image. It uses technology developed by Seadragon Software which Microsoft acquired in January, er February. More details at the Photosynth site and from Tuan Nguyen at DailyTech. [...]

  4. Microsoft Live Labs releases Seadragon Mobile iPhone app | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] a free demonstration application for the iPhone that uses the image viewing technology they acquired with Seadragon Software. Want to see giga-pixel images on your iPhone?   Now you can–with Seadragon [...]

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