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Bing chases Google with street view, Win Mobile app

updated 06:05 pm EST, Wed December 2, 2009

Microsoft expands Bing Maps

Microsoft today caught up to Google in a significant way by expanding Bing's search features, particularly for maps. A beta of Silverlight version of Bing Maps now includes a more fully developed Streetside view that, like Google's Street View, shows on-the-ground panorama photos of mapped-out locations with road overlays and the ability to navigate through in-world clicks. Bing's approach, however, stitches photos together in perspective-correct 3D and now has an app gallery that can merge geolocated data into the street-level look, such as Twitter feeds or local blogs.

It additionally brings an enhanced Bird's Eye view that uses 3D models within the existing view to give a look at urban areas and natural landscapes. Photosynth galleries, simpler driving directions, weather and other features have also been added.

The full experience needs a browser that can use Silverlight, including non-Microsoft browsers like Firefox or Safari. An AJAX version provides compatibility for other sites but loses much of the new functionality.

At the same time, Microsoft has also said it has developed a better Windows Mobile search app for Bing. While it shares a similarity with Google Mobile App in supporting voice commands for searches, it has quick auto location finding with map directions and the same focus on answers over pure results. Other apps are coming, but Microsoft has so far only delivered web-based access to iPhone users.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Kees

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001


    comment title

    where do you want to go today?

    down the trail Apple, Google and other innovators have already laid, how exciting...

  1. chas_m



    Credit where its due

    The screenshots in the story look very nice, and you have to give the Bing team credit for trying to compete against a goliath in this field. Google will probably be motivated to upgrade their stuff too. Competition is good.

    That said, it's not enough to get me to even look at Bing. Reason? Silverlight. Don't want it, won't install it (same goes for Adobe AIR, btw). There's nothing like MS or Adobe c*** coding to gum up an otherwise smoothly-functioning OS.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002


    credit is not due

    competition is good. but this isn't competition. ms has lost hundreds of million of dollars every year for over a decade - not a single dollar of profit - in their internet business's. they are buying their way in, not competing.

    bing team? you mean, the yukon team? er.. i mean the msn team with inktomi... er i mean with alta vista... er... uh then with inktomi again, except it was with also with looksmart... er i mean the the msn search with ms own msbot... uh, well then later with yahoo crawlers... oh wait, it's the ms "LIVE" search team... wait, yeah you're right... it is NOW the bing team.

    billions of dollars later.

    ballmer says they will pump up to 10 billion more over the next several years into search.

    they just keep "comming and coming and coming..." according to ballmer.

    translation: we'll pump money into until you die.

    no, no competition here.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    How is that not competition?

    Competition: "a business relation in which two parties compete to gain customers; "business competition can be fiendish at times"

    Why competition is good: It forces all competitors to outdo the other by creating a better product with often better pricing.

    Even if Microsoft is buying there way in (and I'm not sure how someone could get into a capital intensive industry without doing so), who cares? How is that not competition?

    What you are claiming makes absolutely no sense.

    Please give me another one of your ridiculous lessons, natty boy.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002


    oh luck

    let's make it easy for you. most companies have r&d budgets, they have budgets to get products out there. now most companies pull products and models that don't sell. bicycles, tennis rackets, cars, shoes, you name it, no money coming in the product disappears from the shelf. no two ways about it. companies discontinue products and models and services all the time. it's the sane way to do business, go with what brings the money in. none of them will keep a product or model or service out there that loses money year after year.

    so, name me one other company, one will do nicely, that can keep products out there for years and years and lose BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars to do so.

    ms internet business, billions in loss's over the last decade and is expecting to spend billions more on search alone. not a single dollar in profit.

    xbox, over 10 billion in loss's before it's first profitable quarter. will be quite some time before those loss's are covered.

    zune, 100 million a year in loss's.

    without the cash cow twins there would be no msn, no bing, no xbox, no zune...

    it's not free market and it's not competition. you stay in business by outselling the other guy.
    not losing money to stay in the market until the other guy runs out of money.

    so, name me just one other company that will lose that kind of money to stay in a market. hail, give me one example of a company that kept a product or service out there that lost a fraction of that much. i'll wait.

    lesson over.

  1. phillymjs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000



    "We're the leaders, wait for us!"

  1. gitcypher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007


    Oh Nat

    Competition: "a business relation in which two parties compete to gain customers"

    At some point you'll realize that one product competing against another is competition. You have a sound opinion, but it doesn't pertain to the competion argument at all.

    With that said, you do have to give credit to the product. I checked it out, and their bird's eye view dwarfs google's in clarity. Google's street view is better though, for the time being. MS has a nice street view visualization, but they've got some shining up to do before it's out of Beta.

  1. tobor68

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2007


    looney tunes

    Microsoft = Wile E. Coyote

    Google = The Roadrunner

    hijinks ensue...

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002


    oh git

    if a competition is to see who wins then ms lost a long long time ago. unless one considers billions and billions of dollars lost is somehow victorious.
    ok, so they "compete". at what cost? wouldn't it be "paying customers" and not just customers that would indicate who is winning? you know, profits?
    billions and billions of dollars. it is unlikely that any company ever spent so much money or losing products and models. i mean that isn't a boat load of cash, that's a tanker load of cash.
    but hey, they're competing.

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001



    They lost me with Silverlight.

    While the above mentioned product looks decent, I can't see myself installing Silverlight JUST to use it.

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