Microsoft launches PhotoZoom – Powered by Silverlight 2 and DeepZoom

Yesterday we talked about how the new Silverlight 2 beta announced at Mix 08 contains zooming technology based on SeaDragon and Photosynth, aptly called Deep Zoom.

While there is the Deep Zoom Composer for those who want to make their own image collage on their PC, Microsoft has gone a step further by providing this functionality in a web-based service: Windows Live PhotoZoom.

PhotoZoom allows users to create albums, either by uploading photos from their PC or by importing from an RSS/Atom feed. The clever, processing-heavy part is then done on the Microsoft servers, turning the album from a set of regular photos into a collage with Deep Zoom capabilities.

Once the processing is done (only a few minutes), you can then pan and zoom your photos in the same way you would with the Hard Rock Cafe demo.

Here’s a sample album on PhotoZoom:


And here’s a sample embedded album:


Looking forward, there are performance improvements around the processing time on the way. It takes maybe a minute or so per photo right now. There’s also a client application in the works which will allows users to convert images on their PC and then upload to the servers for sharing. In the meantime check it out and let us know what you think!

(Two notes to put in here. Firstly that this is an experimental project, so does not have the same level of support as a full released program or service. Secondly as its part of the Windows Live Incubation Platform, it may not operate with the same reliability as other services. Feedback is welcome in the comments.)

Update: See our followup post here.