Today, Microsoft has unveiled their answer to Google Earth, Microsoft Live Search with 3D images of cities that you can navigate through. Now they have 15 cities, and they are expanding to 100 cities by next summer.
I took one look at the pictures and immediately recognized what they have done. Microsoft have taken their venerable Flight Simulator program and repurposed it as a web navigation tool. While it may have some initial glitz, in practice it is not going to be nearly interesting, useful or awesome as Google maps.
The funny thing is that I read about this in an earnest report on TechCrunch. Neither the reporter nor any of the comment on the entry noticed the connection between Microsoft Live Search and Flight Simulator. In fact , as may be expected, only about half of the commenters could make it work. For myself, I am not going to take the risk of using Internet Explorer to navigate the web so I will have to forgo the pleasure of experiencing it first hand.
Disclosure: I have never used Microsoft Flight Simulator. The closest I have come is glancing at a review on a gaming web site some years ago.