Microsoft and Vexcel
According to this piece from CNET, Microsoft is seeking to buy Vexcel. This deal appears to be about a range of things all of which point to enhanced mapping (including 3-D mapping), which is where Erik Jorgenson said (at last fall’s ILM:05) Microsoft was headed.
There’s a ton of horsepower in this company and, if the deal is approved, it appears Microsoft will be getting a lot more than simply some mapping graphics capabilities.
Google recently purchased a company called @Last Software, which has a 3-D modeling tool/application SketchUp.