Looks like Microsoft is taking a page from Google's playbook with their approach to R&D. At least, they're buying-up cool technologies and releasing them via Microsoft Live Labs. Some of you may have already heard of Photosynth, but for those who haven't, here's Microsoft's description.
"The Photosynth Technology Preview is a taste of the newest - and, we hope, most exciting - way to view photos on a computer. Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next.
In our collections, you can access gigabytes of photos in seconds, view a scene from nearly any angle, find similar photos with a single click, and zoom in to make the smallest detail as big as your monitor."
If it's even half as cool as their claims, then this could be a really fun and useful application. I literally just started playing with it, so no real opinion yet.