Wall-E checks out Microsoft's telescope

In conjunction with the DVD release of the Disney/Pixar movie, the animated robot offers a tour of the universe using Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

The latest celebrity tour guide of the universe is Wall-E, the animated robot and star of the Disney/Pixar movie, which came out on DVD on Tuesday. Microsoft; CNET News

Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope has a new celebrity tour guide: Wall-E.

One of the features of the telescope software is the ability for both experts and amateur stargazers to offer their own guided tour of the universe to share with others. The latest such tour is by Wall-E, the animated robot from the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name.

"WorldWide Telescope is about making science fun for everyone," Curtis Wong, manager of Microsoft's Next Media Research Group, said in a statement. "By working with Disney/Pixar, we're enabling kids and families to discover the magic of the universe for themselves in an even more engaging way. What could be more fun than exploring space with a famous robot?"

The telescope software is a Windows-only Internet application, available as a free download from Microsoft Research. At the heart of the software is a new "visual experience engine" that Microsoft hopes to use for things beyond the telescope.

Microsoft Research chief Rick Rashid noted at last month's Professional Developers Conference that his unit is also updating the telescope software with new features.

As for Wall-E, he's been busy with the DVD release this week. At Adobe's Max conference on Monday, the robot was seen as part of a demo showing the abilities of Flash Player 10.