I am a fan of using Yahoo! Rarely do I ever check any other maps/local information website for my trip planning. Since the Windows Live Writer software uses Windows Live for its maps, I thought about giving it a try, and was truly amazed. Although, I did not spend a lot of time playing around, I was impressed by the interface, and how similar it is to a regular desktop application. In addition, the following capabilties have made me think about switching to Windows Live Local:
- Bird’s Eye View: This is phenomenal! Not only can I view satellite images, but MicroSoft has now made it possible to view oblique pictures of any covered location. These pictures are very high quality, and have a resolution of about a couple dozen yards! They’re still working on getting major cities covered. For example, Raleigh, NC still isn’t covered, while I was able to view pictures of my apartment in the Minneapolis suburbs.
- Call a business: This is still a beta feature, but basically when you search for a business, you get a link to call them for free. All this does is calls them and forward the call to your phone. So, basically, you hear a ring on your phone, and when you lift it, you’re connected to the business without dialling a number! I think there’s lots of scope for exploitation here as the feature takes in any number you provide.
All in all, I am throughly impressed. And, yet again, good going, Microsoft!