So far, I have found that Virtual Earth works well in Mozilla Firefox Version 1.0.2 running on my Mandrake Linux LE 10.2 box.

I tried it on Konqueror and it crashed.

Internet Explorer on Windows XP worked without any software issues but it sure is slow. I noticed the tiles not loading as I was zooming in or panning. It was pretty annoying to tell you the truth.

Google Maps can drill in a bit further than Virtual Earth can. Once you get to a certain point (below 150 yards) I get a picture of a camera with a slash through it indicating that I have zoomed to far. Google will let you zoom in as far as you can and still display images albeit blurry.

I don't think Microsoft has quite done it yet in terms of beating Google. I think they are definitely in the neighborhood though, but the UI is a tad clunky. Google is much simpler to use.

I am also a subscriber to Google Earth so I can tell you with pretty good accuracy that it is far more superior than Virtual Earth. Microsoft might want to consider that rich client after all if they intend to compete. Also, why bother with such limited data? Get the whole friggin world out there already. They bragged about the fact that they have been working with cartography for 10+ years but they come out with the US only? Someone is asleep at the wheel.

My main complaint right now is the clunky UI and the speed. did anyone notice that there is a limit on the scratch pad? I got an error saying that I had reached my maximum number of scratch pad entries. I think I only had 4 or 5. Anyone hear of a scroll bar? lol

Microsoft has done a pretty good job of reverse engineering what Google has done but they are not there yet. I say give it 6 months to a year before we see significant improvements. I hope to see those other features talked about in the taped interview soon.