WLL: 'Bird's Eye' Impressive, Basic Maps Need Work

After having 24 hours to play with Windows Live Local (WLL), my experience is mixed. The "Bird's Eye" photograghy is stunning (I can't wait for more coverage beyond the current 12 U.S. metro areas). The personalization features (Scratch Pad, etc.), layered proximity searches and, generally speaking, the navigation are also very nice. But the basic maps functionality has some kinks that need to be worked out.

It's a beta product and so that's to be expected. I won't catalog those things here, but certain searches were not as easy to execute or as accurate as on Yahoo! and Google Maps. There was also inconsistency when using Firefox and IE.

I'm sure the folks at MSN will be collecting feedback and addressing the problems so that when WLL comes out of beta, they'll get the basic mapping features right, in addition to the advanced functionality.

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