Space Wars: Microsoft vs. Google

The war for virtual Earth intensified yesterday as Microsoft released the next version of its Virtual Earth. In the latest release, dubbed "Spaceland," Microsoft layers three-dimensional, photo-quality images over street maps. 3D photo-imagery has been available for some time, notably in Google Earth, but it had not yet been integrated into a daily product with yellow-pages-like utility. (Google Earth and the more pedestrian Google Maps remain separate products. The former requires an application download, while the latter works with a browser.)

Redmond isn't wasting time peddling Spaceland to advertisers: "The first 15 cities shown in their full three-dimensional glory are peppered with billboards," reports the MIT Advertising Lab. Floating billboards aside, critics are raving about Spaceland. "Every once in a while, Microsoft does something right," comments one Slashdot reader, while the O'Reilly Radar calls the software "quite beautiful." CNET makes the point that "users can "fly" over cities and in between buildings just like they do in virtual-reality environments like the online 3D world of Second Life." Worried about getting lost on the way to Grandma's house? Follow the virtual road first.

Naturally, there are complaints. Virtual Earth, for instance, works only with Internet Explorer. The Advertising Lab also warns users to load up on "a couple of hefty plug-ins, .NET 2.0, and a fairly powerful computer." So is Google quaking? Sniffs Google Earth Blog: "With all the limitations (IE, XP SP2, plug-in, etc.) I don't really see this as a big threat to Google Earth...If you are a Microsoft devotee, I guess you will be happy. But, if you are a Mac/Linux/Firefox/Opera type - forget it." Let the mapping wars go on!
Posted by Oliver Ryan 9:28 AM 1 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Hi Ryan

Thanks for the article. Its not only a Map War as you might already know. I think you should expand on the subject of Search Engines when talking about MSN & Google. MSN is also tring so hard to get a larger share of the search engine market and with the launch of the new Windows Vista.

Microsoft litterally controll most personal computers around the world and once you install Windows Vista, you will find that Msn Live search is every where and very easy to access.

Although it would seem that MSN is going to win the search engine war against google, but thats not true:

Google is holding over 90% of the search engine market share and it has become a common word to say Google It rather than saying Search It.

Google SERP's are more relevant and less spamy, not like MSN SERP's that are full of spam sites.

Windows Vista program is huge. It takes alot more system resources than it is worth. You need to get a 1.6 GHZ Dual Core just to run vista and its over 3GB space. Not everyone in the world can run it, many users still can't run windows xp on their PC's.

MSN has a chance but they have to play their cards right and it would take years. It won't happen over night. They are still in third place when it come's to the search engine market, lets not forget about Yahoo, but thats another story.
Posted By Cluj Romania : 8:43 AM  

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