If there is one area of technology where Microsoft and Google can be compared objectively it is in mapping. It is unglamorous, doesn’t generate much revenue for either company and both companies have relatively new entries into this space. So it is more or less a level playing field. When I discovered the recently released Virtual Earth site from Microsoft I was compelled to compare it to Google Maps immediately. I have written about Google Maps before and have always been a fan of the
I find the two services very similar in nature but in the satellite category Microsoft actually has clearer pictures and it labels the streets while Google doesn’t. Unfortunately Microsoft has black and white images as compared to Google’s color ones. Truth be told there are green patches representing trees and/or grass on the Microsoft maps.
Google has an interesting hybrid feature that overlays the graphical map of streets over the satellite map. This gives you much of the functionality as having the street names on the satellite image itself.
Microsoft has devoted a bit more time to their mapping solution it seems as there are tools and options. You can save a few useful settings.
Overall I would have to say the advantage goes to Microsoft on this product.