Microsoft may be shifting its Bing Maps investment and reorganizing its strategy around the endeavor but for the time being, the company appears to be pushing ahead with its continued support for maps. Earlier this month, Microsoft made some waves when it announced that it would be restructuring its mapping investments. Alongside the news of Microsoft reallocating mapping resources, the company also announced a partnership with the mobile driven taxi service Uber, which would see a hundred or so mapping dedicated employees transfer from Microsoft to Uber. The crux of the announcement hinged on the reality that Microsoft would be scaling back the financial resources it committed to its mapping projects while simultaneously supporting a taxi service that could better utilize Microsoft’s talent.
At a cursory glance, it looked like Microsoft was giving up on mapping. With a few days to digest the news and recent announcements to help fill in the blanks, it appears Microsoft is leaving mapping to the people who can do it best. With that information gathered, Microsoft will still be hard at work to translate mapping information into real-world usage.
Announced today, Bing Maps, is now a resource Azure customers can utilize. According to the Bing blogs, “The Azure Marketplace allows internal and external partners to extend their offerings to the Azure platform and today we are happy to announce the launch of Bing Maps on the Marketplace.”
Interested Azure users can grab Bing Maps through the Azure Portal. Azure’s extensible platform will now allow web applications ran using Azure to apply their sophisticated processing on top of the newly retooled Bing Map’s interface.
Earlier this year, the Bing team used Bing Maps to highlight its flexibility and usefulness during the NCAA tournament. With the use of Excel and importing custom layers, the Bing team was able to create a custom map with streetside views of many of the arena’s the tournament matches would take place.
While Microsoft may have ‘mostly’ gotten out of the data allocation portion of mapping, the company still appears to be hard at work at surfacing 3rd party gathered information into many of its services.Further reading: Azure, Bing, Mapping, Marketplace, Microsoft, Portal