back to article Microsoft promises not-quite-as-much Street View

Microsoft has started collecting images for its version of Google Street View which will be included on Bing's maps in a service called 'Streetside'. Four cars began prowling the streets of the capital this morning. The Johnny-come-lately snooping service will only cover major towns and cities and will make no attempt to cover …


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  1. petur
    Dead Vulture

    RE: wifi snooping

    "Nor, we guess, will it be "accidentally" collecting and storing information gleaned from your unencrypted Wi-Fi network, as Street View did."

    Of course not.... This is Microsoft. They won't tell joe public when they discover the data, or inform the press... only real evil companies would do that, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Uhm... no, its Navteq.

      And no, they aren't snooping on wifi traffic at all.

      Why? Because they learned from Google's mistakes.

      There's more too it...

      Posted anon for obvious reasons.

  2. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Second place

    There is some advantage in being second. The images will at least be slightly more up to date.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Just a thought...

    What would it cost the UK Gov to buy the entire image set and Streetview database from Google and hand it over to a 'Not for profit' company or to our National Map maker who could then integrate it and/or licence it on. I'm sure Google could see the commercial value of being allowed to continue operating in the UK in exchange for a consideration associated with the Streetview database. How about 1 peppercorn?

    Before folks start claiming this would be 'Blackmail', I'm proposing little more - and having it done openly - than Google or any other big player would do. Think BT/Phorm here and the CPS and British Government. If I'm going to have my details and location profited from I'd rather it went to the Government that some profiteering blighters who invest the proceeds mainly outside the UK.

    But this would require gonads our Government and Civil Servants don't have because they want a future after their well remunerated taxpayer feather-bed.

    1. Dale 3

      What would it cost

      Dunno about gonads, but this would require money that our Government and Civil Servants don't have. We should perhaps not be encouraging them to buy stuff at the moment.

    2. Vic

      Bad idea...

      > who could then integrate it and/or licence it on

      Were that to happen, there's a strong likelihood that it would no longer be available at no cost - after all, any licencee is likely to have to pay for that licence, and they're going to want to recoup that cost.

      The upshot is that we, as consumers, will end up paying money to retain the service, and that money will end up in the pocket of some pol's buddy.

      > Before folks start claiming this would be 'Blackmail

      It's worse than blackmail, it's the appropriation by the State of a company's property. That tends to set very dangerous precedents - and means companies simply stop coming to Britain. That's not good for trade...

      > But this would require gonads our Government and Civil Servants don't have

      No, it would require powers they don't have. Preventing Google from operating in Britain would be a very difficult thing to achieve, and one which, ultimately, is unlikely to be good for the population.


  4. Piloti
    Thumb Down

    Now, where was the letter from Microsoft.... ?

    I don't recall receiving "opt in" letter ?

    Or is this another "you have no f-ing choice" service ?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Opt-in to what?

      Aside from the fact that Google did exactly the same, what do you want to opt in to? They're taking pictures of things that can be seen from public roads; it's hardly snooping of any kind.

      If you really care, I suggest building a tent over your house.

      If you missed the huge irony in the Reg article, you might be reading the wrong site.

      /grabs flameproof coat

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Well I'm on a few frames of streetview (unloading the car outside our shop, nothing too sinister) Now if MS feature me as well I might want to acquire some tinfoil headgear.

  6. dssf

    One way to defeat ms and late-comers

    A not-for-profit group could obtain funding for reflective, barcoded, large posters ro stickers that say, "I DO NOT OPT IN TO STREETSIDE"... Then, we'll see whether ms deletes the structure, or merely the "vandals-placed" stickers/posts.

    By the same token, that could work against Google, too. But, i like Google earth and Google maps.

    1. Vic

      To what end?

      > stickers that say, "I DO NOT OPT IN TO STREETSIDE"

      What would that achieve?

      Neither Microsoft nor Google require your permission to publish their own photos, even if the subject matter is the street you live in.

      Any attempt to change the law to make it otherwise would have a devastating effect on things like investigative journalism.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I just hope MS don't use a right hand drive European GM product (as sold in Ireland and Cyprus), as Streetview did, such that every time you subtitle an article "Orwellian Opel", some bright spark comes on and comments:

    "INCORRECT! THEY ARE VAUXHALLS IN THE UK. DO YOU SEE? LOLS!111111onehundredandeleven).

    God help us if they use a Right Hand Drive Luciferian Lancia (soon to be UK bound Chryslers).

    They could use the autonomous VW DARPA car, and have it constantly scurrying about the country, like a 2 ton roomba with a camera. Might need a tractor though if someone puts a rug on the road for it to get caught on.

  8. Muckminded

    Google Earth vs Microsoft Islands

    Anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Ok Balmer, where's the innovation then?

    Seriously, unless this is another 'me too' stunt by MS, I can see this failing miserably.

    Are you going to cover the whole country/continent? If not why not?


    Mines the one with the illegaly(according to MS...) imported 'brown zune' in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You do realize that the cars are from Navteq?

      As to a "me too", you do realize that before Google put their cars on the street that they were buying map data from Navteq along with teleAtlas?

      Posted Anon for Obvious reasons.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Implementing this with Street Slide would be rather nifty:

    (Without adverts of course, please.)

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    MS not covering every street

    If MS are only concentrating on major cities then surely they are shooting themselves in the foot as people will just use google instead knowing that smaller towns will be on there and won't be on MS service, why use one service for cities and another for smaller towns when Google's streetview does both

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for...

    ...anything which sees Microsoft spend more of its money and drives it further towards the financial toilet.

  13. Alastair 7

    Actually, there's more to it

    Check out this video from Microsoft Research back in 2010:

    Looks like they have plans to do a little more than Street View.

  14. Dale 3

    Request removal of their houses or cars

    Wonder whether I can request removal of my rubbish too. Local council only does it every other week.

    Oh, I see. Sorry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Take a photo and 'shop it yourself

      job's a good 'un

  15. heyrick Silver badge


    Sounds awfully like Microsoft playing catch-up again.

  16. easyk


    you all don't understand... Adding LADAR (LIDAR) data to streetview vehicles is huge. Any word on what LADAR system they are using?

  17. NoneSuch Silver badge


    So M$ is actually doing what it always does; It follows what their competitors are doing, does it halfheartedly then pretends it is better, faster and less expensive and oh by the way it was our idea to begin with when in reality it is none of the above.

    and who is this Bing guy anyway? Only one I know of used to beat his kids.

  18. Mapperz

    Bing Maps Streetside is available now

    Bing Maps Streetside is available now in some USA cities

    Seattle is one of them

  19. Bear Features


    What they are doing makes perfect sense... I mean what is the point of stupid residential roads being on Google Street View? Just so people can say 'oh look that's my house?'

    1. ChrisC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      It might just be a stupid residential road to you...

      ...but who are you to say it's just a stupid residential road to everyone who drives along it?

      Ever since GSV went live with their UK imagery I've been using it to help me plan journeys I haven't done before, checking out the route for landmarks, getting a better look at any particularly tricky junction layouts, and just generally familiarising myself with the route before I get behind the wheel and drive it for real. One of the first such journeys I planned this way was visiting a small company located in a residential area I've never been to before, requiring me to drive along several of your "stupid residential roads" in order to get there...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Does MS do anything original anymore?!

    MS used to be so good at doing cutting edge, or at the very least spotting a good technology, buying it and promoting it.

    They're either copying stuff off Apple or Google, just so sad to see a once great company reduced to ripping off other's ideas.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Does MS do anything original anymore?!

      Well, they're setting out to do this legally. That's a novel approach in this particular marketplace.

  21. Patrick O'Reilly

    Terribly Awesome

    I think everyone's missed the point on this one, its going to be awesome!

    Don't get me wrong, I dislike M$ as much as the next netzien and Street Side will probably be tied to that horrible Silverlight with a version incompatible with Moonlight but people are forgetting the other gem M$ has under its hat.


    Photosynth is one of the most impressive pieces of technology ever and it would fit perfectly into this project. (The clue is in the keyword 'tag cloud', an existing option in Photosynth.)

    My money is on this being a fully immersive, photorealstic 3D model of the citys, rather than Googles series of spherical pictures taken at fixed distances.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      we went to a demo of this tech recently

      where they took a photo of a street from 60 years ago and mapped it on top of the current street view images to give a "view into history". Actually quite cool (sorry, it's ms, I mean it's RUBBISH!)

      1. Ian 25


        @AC: what's the history tech - interested......

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