We appreciate how Microsoft is venturing beyond commercial software projects and developing services to show the technical competence of the company. This is something Google has done so successfully in the last few years. Recently, Microsoft developed the TeraPixel image. Then each of its employees was given a Windows Phone 7 and encouraged to code in free time. Free time? Am I the only one who sees the ‘Google’ angle here?
Now, Microsoft has developed Street Slide, an innovation over Google Street View or Bing Maps Streetside. Although not a huge step, we found this new method of navigating the streets neater and, more importantly, quicker than the alternatives. Let us start from inside your head. While memorizing a street, the image stored in your head is not the ‘car-view’ that Google Street View provides. Navigation would always be easier if street is presented as a long panoramic image, providing a side view. This is exactly what MS have done, and the result is pretty good. Long strip showing the building (image above), neat 90˚ or 180˚ transitions and space above and below the panorama for business logos (=revenue) and building numbers. Check out the video below.
Don’t expect to see the service anytime soon, as only four kilometers of streets have been covered. However, the developers are already working on an iPhone port. The handheld market is the obvious target here as Microsoft is all set to make street hopping faster.