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

OnePlus One release date, price, specs UK: No invite needed any longer

IDG UK Sites

15 analogue facts that today's kids won't understand: winding tapes, Ceefax and more

IDG UK Sites

da Vinci Junior 3D printer review

IDG UK Sites

WWDC 2015: What Apple will launch at WWDC 2015: Apple TV, Macs, more & how to get WWDC tickets