updated 09:45 pm EDT, Tue November 2, 2010
Silverlight will not be required
Microsoft has announced that it will no longer continue to invest in its Bing Maps 3D control plug-in, which allows users to access "Bird's eye" views using Silverlight. The functionality is not being dropped entirely, but rather reworked using HTML5 and AJAX for cross-compatibility on Bing.com/maps without requiring users to download a dedicated plug-in.
Amid reports that Microsoft is moving in a larger shift toward HTML5 instead of Silverlight, the company was careful to update its original blog post to clarify that 3D Maps is not based on Silverlight and the announcement "has nothing to do" with the commitment to Silverlight. However, the company's server president, Bob Muglia, recently fueled rumors by declaring HTML5 the only "true cross-platform solution for everything."
The Bird's eye view will provide the same 45-degree perspective, with imagery available from all four compass directions. Users will be able to zoom or pan the view to take a look at building models in urban areas, along with 3D terrain topography.
The Bing.com/maps update is expected to be available sometime in the next few weeks. [via winrumors]