Microsoft beats Google in Gizmodo mobile maps shootout

It’s funny, a friend told me Microsoft couldn’t innovate anymore and that Google was going to eat its lunch.

Oh, yeah?

Gizmodo held a Microsoft vs. Google mobile map shootout.

Love this quote: “So which is better? Without a doubt, Microsoft’s was the winner.”

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. They say it supports J2ME phones, yet it doesn’t work on my BlackBerry. The application downloads and installs fine. When I launch the app, I can type information into the search bar, but that’s about it.

    I can’t navigate to the “GO” or “MENU” buttons and the only option in the menu when I click the jog-wheel is “Close”. Additionally, deleting entered text doesn’t work. In a nutshell, the app is completely unusable for me.

    Makes me wonder, did they even bother testing this app on a variety of J2ME phones? I mean, BlackBerry is a pretty big brand for them to miss.

    Anyway, because the app doesn’t work, Google wins by default. And Gizmodo is wrong – Google Maps does indeed have directions and traffic (U.S. only). I wonder what version of Google Maps they were trying.

  2. They say it supports J2ME phones, yet it doesn’t work on my BlackBerry. The application downloads and installs fine. When I launch the app, I can type information into the search bar, but that’s about it.

    I can’t navigate to the “GO” or “MENU” buttons and the only option in the menu when I click the jog-wheel is “Close”. Additionally, deleting entered text doesn’t work. In a nutshell, the app is completely unusable for me.

    Makes me wonder, did they even bother testing this app on a variety of J2ME phones? I mean, BlackBerry is a pretty big brand for them to miss.

    Anyway, because the app doesn’t work, Google wins by default. And Gizmodo is wrong – Google Maps does indeed have directions and traffic (U.S. only). I wonder what version of Google Maps they were trying.

  3. What wasn’t mentioned is the nice GPS feature. This truly rocks. If you are running one of the HP Ipaq phones with GPS it gives you the option of adding your location. NICE!

  4. What wasn’t mentioned is the nice GPS feature. This truly rocks. If you are running one of the HP Ipaq phones with GPS it gives you the option of adding your location. NICE!

  5. Oh cool. I tried this out today, but didn’t know it works w/ GPS. I’ve got the Cingular 3125 and have a bluetooth GPS to go with it. I hope it works!

  6. I’m really impressed with WLS, installed on my MDA. It’s incredibly fast, even when I was on a weak connection. Installation and use are as simple as can be. More more more!

  7. I’m really impressed with WLS, installed on my MDA. It’s incredibly fast, even when I was on a weak connection. Installation and use are as simple as can be. More more more!

  8. I have mixed feelings on this shootout – first, it’s not really a shootout, they are comparing a native Windows Mobile app with a J2ME one, which is not fair at all. The overhead of the virtual machine will of course slow down an equivalent application.

    If Google made a native application, I bet it would run just as smooth, with a much improved UI (the J2ME UI sucks).

    Besides the software itself, much has to be said about the two services. Google, for some reason, allows for searching UK addresses and postcodes on their map service, but not through their API, apparently because the UK postal service own the copyright to them…yeah, makes your brain go funny right?

    Virtual Earth has a more complete dataset, covering places like Romania, which in Google Maps is a barren land.

    Searching for addresses outside the US sucks on Virtual Earth, and makes it virtually unusable. The zip codes are all messed up, as addresses are totally messed up and mangled, resulting in the map zooming to the wrong locations. Google wins hands-down on this one.

    What all these apps relly need is the ability to select, download and cache selected areas of the map, to be able to browse and navigate offline. If you plan a route, it would make sense to download the map detail for it, to spare you from keeping a data connection open during the whole trip.

  9. I have mixed feelings on this shootout – first, it’s not really a shootout, they are comparing a native Windows Mobile app with a J2ME one, which is not fair at all. The overhead of the virtual machine will of course slow down an equivalent application.

    If Google made a native application, I bet it would run just as smooth, with a much improved UI (the J2ME UI sucks).

    Besides the software itself, much has to be said about the two services. Google, for some reason, allows for searching UK addresses and postcodes on their map service, but not through their API, apparently because the UK postal service own the copyright to them…yeah, makes your brain go funny right?

    Virtual Earth has a more complete dataset, covering places like Romania, which in Google Maps is a barren land.

    Searching for addresses outside the US sucks on Virtual Earth, and makes it virtually unusable. The zip codes are all messed up, as addresses are totally messed up and mangled, resulting in the map zooming to the wrong locations. Google wins hands-down on this one.

    What all these apps relly need is the ability to select, download and cache selected areas of the map, to be able to browse and navigate offline. If you plan a route, it would make sense to download the map detail for it, to spare you from keeping a data connection open during the whole trip.

  10. robo74: It works great!

    I have the GPS that comes with Pocket Streets and then got a bluetooth dock for it so it doesn’t need any cables. If you get that far, the rest is a simple.

    It maps current location and you can get direction from wherever you are (exactly wherever you are) to whatever destination, either by selecting it on the map, or by entering in and searching for the destination like we’ve all done before.

    Cools stuff! I’m probably post more about it on my blog after I try it out some more.

  11. robo74: It works great!

    I have the GPS that comes with Pocket Streets and then got a bluetooth dock for it so it doesn’t need any cables. If you get that far, the rest is a simple.

    It maps current location and you can get direction from wherever you are (exactly wherever you are) to whatever destination, either by selecting it on the map, or by entering in and searching for the destination like we’ve all done before.

    Cools stuff! I’m probably post more about it on my blog after I try it out some more.

  12. Excellent. I have been trying it out with my IPAQ with the built-in GPS and it definitely does the trick. No complaints here.

  13. Excellent. I have been trying it out with my IPAQ with the built-in GPS and it definitely does the trick. No complaints here.

  14. […] Windows Live Search for Mobile Launched Earlier today, Microsoft released its new Mobile Search application on WLS.live.com.  I had a few minutes to play around with the Windows Mobile 5 version of the program on my Cingular 2125 and I must say that it is a killer application.  This release mostly focuses on local search, driving directions, and maps.  I am assuming that the maps portion of the application is powered by Virtual Earth, although I don’t have confirmation on that yet. As far as the maps go, as expected, you can look around in either standard map view or aerial view.  The application will display traffic and driving directions right no the map.  It also provides turn by turn driving directions, accompanied by the map of the location of the turn.  We will try to get some shots of the application up soon, but for now, here are a few stock shots from Ideas.       I really only noticed one minor point of irritation and that is that Search has the same Orb icon as Windows Live Mobile, but that can easily be corrected.  That said, this has to be one of my favorite mobile applications that I have seen so far. Windows Live Ideas Signup PageTry the Beta(Still no post on the Mobile Team’s Blog, but I’ll update the post when that goes up.) Update:I forgot to mention that the Windows Live Search for Mobile application is available on Windows Mobile 5 and J2ME phones as well.Update 2:Gizmodo has a nice writeup on Windows Live Search for Mobile comparing it to Google Maps’ mobile offerings.  Check it out here (Via Scoble) Published Friday, December 01, 2006 12:21 AM by Harrison Hoffman Filed under: LiveSide, Windows Live, Windows Live Search, Windows Live Mobile […]

  15. It’s like comparing General Electric with American Express. Their areas of expertise are very different. Google is a search company and does that pretty well, whereas Microsoft is a software company which it does pretty well.

    Apple on the other hand is an industrial design and marketing company which it does brilliantly. But would you use an Apple search engine?

    Why is it that Apple have never tried the search market? I guess you could punch is your birth date and then get search results based on your typing speed and biorhythms :)

  16. It’s like comparing General Electric with American Express. Their areas of expertise are very different. Google is a search company and does that pretty well, whereas Microsoft is a software company which it does pretty well.

    Apple on the other hand is an industrial design and marketing company which it does brilliantly. But would you use an Apple search engine?

    Why is it that Apple have never tried the search market? I guess you could punch is your birth date and then get search results based on your typing speed and biorhythms :)