We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Microsoft to boost online map offering

Buys aerial mapping company Vexcel

Microsoft has bought Vexcel, a company that makes products for creating maps from aerial and satellite photographs, in an effort to boost its local search and online-mapping services.

Microsoft yesterday announced its acquisition of Vexcel without disclosing the deal's financial details. Microsoft expects that Vexcel's products and technologies will strengthen its Windows Live Local service for finding local business listings and displaying online maps.

Windows Live Local is Microsoft's offering in the highly competitive market for local search and online mapping.

Microsoft and all other major search engine operators, including Google, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com, have local search services integrated with online maps and are intensely interested in the increasing ad spending attracted by these websites.

These local search and mapping sites are a sort of business phone directory on steroids. Users typically can search for businesses in a specific area, obtain driving directions, display them on a map, often with aerial or satellite images, and sometimes even read customer annotations and reviews.

Microsoft's expectations for Windows Live Local are high, as the Redmond, Washington, software giant hopes to turn it into a site that provides what it has described as an "immersive" experience for consumers and commercial users with increasingly rich map imagery, such as 3D renderings, bird's-eye views and street-side photos.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy. Samsung's flagship is more iPhone-lr......

IDG UK Sites

Samsung: King of the Androids (or MWC, at least)

IDG UK Sites

HP Z1 G2 review

IDG UK Sites

What does that mean? A jargon-buster dictionary of tech terms for Apple fans