Microsoft and Google Maps heat up 3D battle

The Local Live team just introduced 3D maps which competes with Google Earth. Pretty cool and good for us that Microsoft and Google are going at it. Requires a download and IE 6 or 7, which will keep it from being seen as cool.

Google isn’t taking this lying down, though, and has just released a beta of Google Earth 4.

I link to many of the best reports over on my link blog.

More on TechMeme.

Microsoft’s On10.net and Channel 9 have interviews with the team and demos of the 3D Virtual Earth too.

29 thoughts on “Microsoft and Google Maps heat up 3D battle

  1. Also requires XP or Vista. If other people can support nearly-obsolete operating systems, like Windows 2000, why can’t the people who made those operating systems do the same? It really is a puzzle.

  2. Also requires XP or Vista. If other people can support nearly-obsolete operating systems, like Windows 2000, why can’t the people who made those operating systems do the same? It really is a puzzle.

  3. Steve, there’s no doubt that the 2-D VE stuff works in Firefox. But that’s not the point. The point is the 3D stuff is Windows only, and it means that with regard to interop, Google is doing a better job.

    As well, I can get Google Maps to show me 2D birdseye pretty pictures too. In Firefox even. Not a big deal. So far, what you’re showing me is Microsoft saying they’ve caught up to where everyone else is, (and not really), and declaring some kind of victory.

    But again, what does ANY of that have to do with the 3-D stuff being IE on WIndows only, and how that shows that when it comes down to doing the hard work on interop, there’s only one unit at Microsoft that is willing to do so day after day. Here’s a hint, it ain’t the live team.

  4. Steve, there’s no doubt that the 2-D VE stuff works in Firefox. But that’s not the point. The point is the 3D stuff is Windows only, and it means that with regard to interop, Google is doing a better job.

    As well, I can get Google Maps to show me 2D birdseye pretty pictures too. In Firefox even. Not a big deal. So far, what you’re showing me is Microsoft saying they’ve caught up to where everyone else is, (and not really), and declaring some kind of victory.

    But again, what does ANY of that have to do with the 3-D stuff being IE on WIndows only, and how that shows that when it comes down to doing the hard work on interop, there’s only one unit at Microsoft that is willing to do so day after day. Here’s a hint, it ain’t the live team.

  5. “Does Google Earth run in Firefox? No, you need to download and install a seperate application (browser) to run it. Same for World Wind. Same for VE.”

    Right. So I can then run it on a Mac or Linux. Yes?! What do you mean no? But I can run Google Earth on Windows, OS X and Linux? Now that’s nice! :)

  6. “Does Google Earth run in Firefox? No, you need to download and install a seperate application (browser) to run it. Same for World Wind. Same for VE.”

    Right. So I can then run it on a Mac or Linux. Yes?! What do you mean no? But I can run Google Earth on Windows, OS X and Linux? Now that’s nice! :)

  7. MSFT Employee here….and long time critic/user of the Geo business unit. We just don’t get it…and neither does Google. The coolness was always in the Birds Eye view, NOT the 3D. I would say that both MSFT and GOOG suck in this regard. They need to refocus on making Birds Eye penetration better.

  8. MSFT Employee here….and long time critic/user of the Geo business unit. We just don’t get it…and neither does Google. The coolness was always in the Birds Eye view, NOT the 3D. I would say that both MSFT and GOOG suck in this regard. They need to refocus on making Birds Eye penetration better.

  9. Chris – Why Assume we won’t? It took Keyhole/Google Earth 5 years of Development before it made it to OS X and Linux. We’ve only been at it for 12 months ;-) If you want to see Virtual Earth 3D running outside of a web browser, check this out: http://heptazane.spaces.live.com/ pretty neat. The VE 3d architecture is pretty flexible. It isn’t built just for the web, nor is it built just for winform apps. What you are looking at today is just our first release – we wanted v1 to work the way the web works. For instance, using a standard URL, I can send a permalink to a specific place on earth in 3d, or a set of places in the form of a collection. Here’s 2 of my favorite live music spots in Seattle:

    http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=47.613575~-122.314636&style=h&lvl=19&tilt=-43.5018806659501&dir=159.622041609509&alt=195.490266860463&scene=3702448&sp=yp.YN926x15826317~yp.YN926x15823759

    its a permalink, like any other link on the web. Note that it works in Firefox and IE. Here’s a more complex collection of neighborhoods of NYC:

    http://local.live.com/?v=2&style=r&cid=2BBC66E99FDCDB98!4065

    same deal. I know you might have a hard time imagining anything that Microsoft does is useful, but can you think of how others might use something like this and benefit from it?

  10. Chris – Why Assume we won’t? It took Keyhole/Google Earth 5 years of Development before it made it to OS X and Linux. We’ve only been at it for 12 months ;-) If you want to see Virtual Earth 3D running outside of a web browser, check this out: http://heptazane.spaces.live.com/ pretty neat. The VE 3d architecture is pretty flexible. It isn’t built just for the web, nor is it built just for winform apps. What you are looking at today is just our first release – we wanted v1 to work the way the web works. For instance, using a standard URL, I can send a permalink to a specific place on earth in 3d, or a set of places in the form of a collection. Here’s 2 of my favorite live music spots in Seattle:

    http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=47.613575~-122.314636&style=h&lvl=19&tilt=-43.5018806659501&dir=159.622041609509&alt=195.490266860463&scene=3702448&sp=yp.YN926x15826317~yp.YN926x15823759

    its a permalink, like any other link on the web. Note that it works in Firefox and IE. Here’s a more complex collection of neighborhoods of NYC:

    http://local.live.com/?v=2&style=r&cid=2BBC66E99FDCDB98!4065

    same deal. I know you might have a hard time imagining anything that Microsoft does is useful, but can you think of how others might use something like this and benefit from it?

  11. Of course, here come the attack of the Microsoft gnomes. They try hard, but they aren’t terribly good about it, because their main and really only tactic is to change the subject and strawman.

    To be Clear, Virtual Earth runs quite well in Firefox. it should – We test FF as part of our RC and log and aggressively fix Firefox related bugs in our product.

    Ah, but we aren’t talking about Virtual Earth as a whole, are we? No. No we in fact are not. We are in fact talking about a specific part of VE, the 3-D Maps. So, let us keep this on point, hmm? I know you don’t particularly like this point, because it’s a glaring weakness in your product, but your personal feelings about this point don’t apply here.

    The 3D feature that Scoble is referring to is an IE only feature because it requires native code to run.

    Well, since that’s what we’re talking about here, that it only runs in IE on Windows, that would kind of mean that VE’s interop is…shall we say “suboptimal”? It sounds so much better than some other choices. But it is classic Microsoft Windows team strategy. Make it kinda bad to use on every other platform, pay lip service to interop, and and then dangle Windows as the cure to the interop problems. Because that’s what worked in 1997.

    For Brett/John – Does Google Earth run in Firefox? No, you need to download and install a seperate application (browser) to run it.

    Ah, the strawman. Well, (other) product that’s is a standalone application isn’t a plugin, and you have to run it as a separate application, so it’s just as bad

    Only if you’re debating halfwits Steve. See, the fact that Google Earth isn’t a plugin is rather meaningless, as it, unlike VE’s 3D stuff, runs on more than Windows. So, by that rather obvious standard, once again, Google kicks your ass at the interop game. If Google Earth was a Windows – only product, then your comparison would be more valid. But it isn’t so it isn’t.

    Same for World Wind.

    You know, a little googling reveals how silly that comment is. World Wind has been, and unless someone who wants to convert DX to something not MS-only decides to do a LOT of work for free, always shall be Windows only.

    Same for VE.

    That’s completely pointless as a statement. VE’s 3D maps only work in Windows under IE. You admit that. It is that decision that we are criticizing. The fact that it runs in a browser doesn’t make it magically better than Google Earth’s cross platform feature set. The fact that a crippled version of VE runs in Firefox doesn’t change that the 3D maps only run in IE on Windows.

    Perhaps you should try actually talking about the subject at hand instead of manufacturing strawmen and attempting to change the problem to one you prefer to deal with.

  12. Of course, here come the attack of the Microsoft gnomes. They try hard, but they aren’t terribly good about it, because their main and really only tactic is to change the subject and strawman.

    To be Clear, Virtual Earth runs quite well in Firefox. it should – We test FF as part of our RC and log and aggressively fix Firefox related bugs in our product.

    Ah, but we aren’t talking about Virtual Earth as a whole, are we? No. No we in fact are not. We are in fact talking about a specific part of VE, the 3-D Maps. So, let us keep this on point, hmm? I know you don’t particularly like this point, because it’s a glaring weakness in your product, but your personal feelings about this point don’t apply here.

    The 3D feature that Scoble is referring to is an IE only feature because it requires native code to run.

    Well, since that’s what we’re talking about here, that it only runs in IE on Windows, that would kind of mean that VE’s interop is…shall we say “suboptimal”? It sounds so much better than some other choices. But it is classic Microsoft Windows team strategy. Make it kinda bad to use on every other platform, pay lip service to interop, and and then dangle Windows as the cure to the interop problems. Because that’s what worked in 1997.

    For Brett/John – Does Google Earth run in Firefox? No, you need to download and install a seperate application (browser) to run it.

    Ah, the strawman. Well, (other) product that’s is a standalone application isn’t a plugin, and you have to run it as a separate application, so it’s just as bad

    Only if you’re debating halfwits Steve. See, the fact that Google Earth isn’t a plugin is rather meaningless, as it, unlike VE’s 3D stuff, runs on more than Windows. So, by that rather obvious standard, once again, Google kicks your ass at the interop game. If Google Earth was a Windows – only product, then your comparison would be more valid. But it isn’t so it isn’t.

    Same for World Wind.

    You know, a little googling reveals how silly that comment is. World Wind has been, and unless someone who wants to convert DX to something not MS-only decides to do a LOT of work for free, always shall be Windows only.

    Same for VE.

    That’s completely pointless as a statement. VE’s 3D maps only work in Windows under IE. You admit that. It is that decision that we are criticizing. The fact that it runs in a browser doesn’t make it magically better than Google Earth’s cross platform feature set. The fact that a crippled version of VE runs in Firefox doesn’t change that the 3D maps only run in IE on Windows.

    Perhaps you should try actually talking about the subject at hand instead of manufacturing strawmen and attempting to change the problem to one you prefer to deal with.

  13. Then create a plugin for Firefox that allows you to execute native code. There are many apps do that all the time.

    People will not bother to launch IE just to view your this. IE just gets in the way. If you wanted to do it right, do it as a separate application.

    Plus Google Earth runs on OS X and Linux. Google seemed to figure out how to get it to run on those platforms. I’d love Microsoft to do that.

  14. Then create a plugin for Firefox that allows you to execute native code. There are many apps do that all the time.

    People will not bother to launch IE just to view your this. IE just gets in the way. If you wanted to do it right, do it as a separate application.

    Plus Google Earth runs on OS X and Linux. Google seemed to figure out how to get it to run on those platforms. I’d love Microsoft to do that.

  15. To be Clear, Virtual Earth runs quite well in Firefox. it should – We test FF as part of our RC and log and aggressively fix Firefox related bugs in our product. The 3D feature that Scoble is referring to is an IE only feature because it requires native code to run. For Brett/John – Does Google Earth run in Firefox? No, you need to download and install a seperate application (browser) to run it. Same for World Wind. Same for VE.

  16. To be Clear, Virtual Earth runs quite well in Firefox. it should – We test FF as part of our RC and log and aggressively fix Firefox related bugs in our product. The 3D feature that Scoble is referring to is an IE only feature because it requires native code to run. For Brett/John – Does Google Earth run in Firefox? No, you need to download and install a seperate application (browser) to run it. Same for World Wind. Same for VE.

  17. Microsoft just don’t get it, do they? When will they learn? I won’t even bother looking at it if it doesn’t support Firefox. What, they think this is a killer app, and by releasing it only for IE that people will switch?

    As per usual when Microsoft does something like this… just groan, sigh and move on. Nothing to see here.

  18. Microsoft just don’t get it, do they? When will they learn? I won’t even bother looking at it if it doesn’t support Firefox. What, they think this is a killer app, and by releasing it only for IE that people will switch?

    As per usual when Microsoft does something like this… just groan, sigh and move on. Nothing to see here.

  19. Hell screw Solaris/MS interop…why do I have to go to IBM to get a working JVM for WIndows Mobile 5? With Microsoft and Sun now all BFF, shouldn’t I be able to get that from Microsoft?

    Oh wait, that would be actual software from a big – arsed announcement. Never mind. (and just to preclude the “where’s Sun’s stuff?” shit, Solaris 10 has AD integration out of the box. So that’s what, 100% more than Microsoft has done.)

  20. Hell screw Solaris/MS interop…why do I have to go to IBM to get a working JVM for WIndows Mobile 5? With Microsoft and Sun now all BFF, shouldn’t I be able to get that from Microsoft?

    Oh wait, that would be actual software from a big – arsed announcement. Never mind. (and just to preclude the “where’s Sun’s stuff?” shit, Solaris 10 has AD integration out of the box. So that’s what, 100% more than Microsoft has done.)

  21. Because Brett, Microsoft is fundamentally stupid about interop. They think that “interop” is defined as “making your life suck unless you use Windows”. And if you think that I regard the Novell announcement as anything other than smoke, mirrors and bullshit, where’s all the great Microsoft software that makes using Solaris easier. Remember that announcement around 2004? Kinda sound familiar? Perhaps real close to the Novell announcement?

    Microsoft is convinced that no one ever remembers its bullshit, and that we’ll treat every announcement as new and truly sincere instead of a tired bit of paper with a lot of whiteout.

    Instead of a constant stream of big announcement bullshit followed with crap like “Screw you, go use windows you damned commie bastard”, maybe they should take a page from Apple’s book, STFU, and start releasing good software.

    Oh wait, they aren’t done sodomizing the Plays4Sure customers yet.

  22. Because Brett, Microsoft is fundamentally stupid about interop. They think that “interop” is defined as “making your life suck unless you use Windows”. And if you think that I regard the Novell announcement as anything other than smoke, mirrors and bullshit, where’s all the great Microsoft software that makes using Solaris easier. Remember that announcement around 2004? Kinda sound familiar? Perhaps real close to the Novell announcement?

    Microsoft is convinced that no one ever remembers its bullshit, and that we’ll treat every announcement as new and truly sincere instead of a tired bit of paper with a lot of whiteout.

    Instead of a constant stream of big announcement bullshit followed with crap like “Screw you, go use windows you damned commie bastard”, maybe they should take a page from Apple’s book, STFU, and start releasing good software.

    Oh wait, they aren’t done sodomizing the Plays4Sure customers yet.

  23. >>Requires a download and IE 6 or 7, which will keep it from being seen as cool.

    So true. I have IE 7 on my Vista machine and I won’t even try it now that I know MS doesn’t support anything else. Why does MS continue down this path?

  24. >>Requires a download and IE 6 or 7, which will keep it from being seen as cool.

    So true. I have IE 7 on my Vista machine and I won’t even try it now that I know MS doesn’t support anything else. Why does MS continue down this path?

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