This is good and timely. I am glad to MSFT come back and compete with Google-Keyhole with Virtual Earth. It is also nice to see MapPoint and TerraServer assets combined into this. I am thinking X-BOX, MSFT Flight-SIM, Win-64 applications, true distribution.
With Pictometry, a very hot little company now, the 45 degree angle thing is cool, but it will be hard to compete with Google Earth and Keyhole application for panning and zooming at various angles. The ideal would be a combination of Pictometry and the true-fly-through
capabilities of Keyhole - skyline-esque approach.
Search the world. The key difference, on a contrary point, is the price-point. MSN Virtual Earth will be free and Google Earth will be $30.00 for Keyhole client.
Also, note - think about right-click save as, and how to get geospatial intelligence out from system, and packaged, and sent around. Also, think about digital to analog transforms.
Congrats to the MapPoint Team for matching such an impact.
Well done with WSJ by the way - well orchestrated from interview with BIll, pre-hype on Virtual Earth, and then announcement, and pre-release. Interesting to see Barclay involved. I was wondering when he would be involved.
Nice job to Pictometry for getting this win. Huge for them.