Microsoft releases its first iPhone app

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Microsoft on Monday released its first application built specifically for Apple’s iPhone.

Dubbed Seadragon, the application allows users to browse high-resolution images, according to information provided by Microsoft. The application is optimized for use over 3G and Wi-Fi networks, the company said.

Seadragon also allows users to explore Photosynth collections on the iPhone. Photosynth is a Microsoft technology that lets users stitch digital photos together into a three-dimensional panorama.

Microsoft incorporated the ability to view PhotoZoom and Deep Zoom Composer content, as well.

Microsoft is well known for having its own mobile platform, but Alex Daley, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs told TechFlash that it’s the power of the iPhone that attracted the company to the platform.

"The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphics processing unit)," said Daley. "Most phones out today don’t have accelerated graphics in them  The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn’t just pick up a Blackberry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support."

Developed by Microsoft Live Labs, the company posted a video of Seadragon on its Web site. The application is free to download from the App Store.

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