Customer Focused … Humble … Under Promise/Over Deliver …

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Customer Focused … Humble … Under Promise/Over Deliver … These are some of the key cultural traits the Web Search team here at Microsoft tries to live by.  Boy, were we surprised to wake up yesterday to a bunch of press saying things like “Microsoft:  Give us Six Months to Beat Google” and “Microsoft: We’ll Beat Google at Its Own Game”.  What’s up with those headlines?  They were crafted from…
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Virtual Earth Highlight: Windows Live Expo

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This afternoon, Windows Live Expo was released as a public beta. It is a great classifieds site with some unique features such as scoping the posts you see to a particular area or to a group close to you like your Messenger buddy list.  Check it out: http://expo.live.com/ So, why is this on the Virtual Earth developer blog?  Well, Expo allows it’s users to map out the results of their…
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Virtual Earth Technology Preview: Street-side Imagery

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Today, the Virtual Earth team released a new Technology Preview of street-side imagery.  Take a look: http://preview.local.live.com/ This release is not a final product, and is being released early in the development process so we can engage with the community and gather feedback on the feature concept and our implementation.  We plan to integrate a more complete version of the functionality into the Windows Live Local site and the Virtual Earth platform sometime…
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Virtual Earth Team Launches Street-Side Drive-by

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The Virtual Earth team is pleased to launch a preview of a new feature we have been working on – interactive Street-side browsing. You can try it out at http://preview.local.live.com Street-side imagery allows you to drive around a city looking at the world around you as if you were in a car. But unlike the real world, you can stop your car anywhere you like and rotate your view around…
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Movie Showtimes

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We noticed that a lot of you are looking for movies currently in theaters.  To help get you the info you want faster, we recently launched an instant answer for movie showtimes! We worked with our buddies in MSN Movies to bring you current showtimes for movies near you.  You can search for movie names or the theater down the way: Movies: eight below, curious george Theaters: landmark metro cinemas…
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Map Control: Zoom Levels -> Resolution

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A common question we get is, “What is the resolution or scale at a particular zoom level in Virtual Earth or Windows Live Local?”  Well, that is actually a little more complex of answer than you might expect.  We use Mercator projection across the maps in the Virtual Earth Map Control so they can be be cut up into image tiles for quick delivery to clients and reliable stitching back together…
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Map Control: Picking the Right Zoom Level

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When instantiating the Map Control, you have the option to specify a starting coordinate set and zoom level for road or aerial view. But, you might be scratching your head on exactly what zoom level to start at if you want to get a particular level of detail.  I find the quickest way to find a good zoom level is to fire up Windows Live Local and get the view…
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Hello Microsoft.com

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This past December we quietly made a change to the way people search on Microsoft.com –  Microsoft.com Search is now powered by MSN Search.  This was an exciting project to work on.  We were super jazzed that another team wanted to use our search technology and the Microsoft.com team was equally excited to be upgrading their search to the best Internet Search technology that Microsoft has to offer.  Not only that,…
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Search & Win with a new UI

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Earlier this week we launched MSN Search and Win. It’s a contest that will be running through April and you have the opportunity to win some pretty great prizes. I like it because it’s easy. As you search on our main site (or through the flash interface) you have the ability to win prizes. If you’re not interested in the prizes then you can ignore the ads.Why are we doing…
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