Microsoft outs Silverlight-powered Bing Maps

Beta of new mapping service pops up

Bing Maps gets new Silverlight powered apps

Microsoft has launched a new Silverlight-powered Bing Maps into beta testing this month, in an attempt to better what is already on offer from Google Maps.

The new Silverlight version of Bing Maps offers a bunch of new features that Microsoft refers to as "spatial search" – although the current HTML version is still far nippier to use.

However, we expect that the Silverlight version – which does impressive visual stuff such as meshing together Road and Aerial modes – will get a lot quicker when it comes out of beta testing.

Map apps

Microsoft has also followed the current trend for offering 'app stores' by adding in a new Application Gallery allowing developers to include their own information on a map.

Current maps apps Microsoft is offering include: What's nearby, Local Lens, Twitter Maps, Photosynth, Current traffic, Trafficland, Businesses by category, Today's front pages, Restaurant finder, Hotel finder, Travel webcams, Roadside attractions, Roadside sculptures, Urban graffiti, Urban murals, and Signs & billboards.

For more you can check out this video of Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Chief Architect of Bing Maps, demo'ing the new offering from Microsoft.

Users can still check out the non-Silverlight version at Bing.com/Maps in addition to the Silverlight beta version at Bing.com/Maps/Explore.

Via Ars Technica