Microsoft belatedly trying to knock Google off its street-snapping perch

12 April 2011

bing_1870250c About a year and a half after they should realistically have started, Microsoft are sending cars out all over the place to take photos and create a pictorial map of the UK and Europe. Yes, exactly like Google’s Street View. Except they’re doing it now. Like, whatever.

They’re calling it ‘Streetside’ and the project will be part of the Microsoft’s Bing search engine. It’s already available in the USA and now a gang of cars are marauding around London, snapping this and that, with the rest of the UK to follow.

Microsoft’s saving grace could be their attempt to gain the moral high ground, with Google having fallen foul of various privacy regulations as they gathered pictures and data as part of the Street View project.

Microsoft say that before they begin photographing in towns and cities, they’ll be placing adverts in local papers, outlining what they’re up to and providing contact information for anyone who has any concerns. The UK Streetside website already contains such info.

Streetside will launch in the UK in the next few months, although Microsoft say it could take up to two years for the whole of the UK to be mapped. We predict that if these trends continue, 65% of traffic on UK roads will be street-mapping photography cars. By about the year 3061.

TOPICS:   Technology   UK News


  • Alexis
    Microsoft are always at least a year and a half behind whatever next big thing they are attempting to copy.
  • Tweedskin
    That car's (pictured) tinted windows are blatantly illegal.
  • Phil
    What next microsoft? A mobile phone OS, a competitor to itunes, a tablet OS?
  • strawbear
    Wow cos that's not a huge fucking waste of money... The stupidity of this world never ceases to amaze
  • markymark
    Yes, because Microsoft are really good at gaining the moral high ground aren't they? You know, like they did when co-founder Paul Allen overheard Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer plotting to either get his shares off him or make them worthless, even though Allen was dying of cancer at the time. That sort of moral high ground.
  • Mr G.
    Or the moral highground they took when they released an Alpha version of Windows 7, called it Vista and charged people for testing it for them. Or the moral highground they took when they copied CP/M86 and called it MSDOS. Or the moral highground they took when they bought out competitors to seal their position as de facto supplier of IBM-compatible PC operating systems. Or the moral highground they took when they... well, you get the picture

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