New Microsoft feature competes with Google Earth
San Francisco and San Jose was one of 15 American cities that went online today in a new Microsoft Corp. mapping site that goes head-to-head with Google Earth.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) new feature shows high-resolution 3-D cyber replicas of cities. So far, the cities available include San Jose, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Microsoft plans to produce 100 cities by next summer, and some watchers said Monday the new feature eclipses Mountain View-based Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Earth feature.
Users will need a computer with a minimum of 512 megabytes of memory and a processor running at the minimum speed of 1 gigahertz to access the new program, along with a current version of Microsoft's browsers: Windows Internet Explorer versions 6 or 7.
Microsoft said it intends to sell advertising on virtual billboards in the virtual cities.