Bing maps to replace Multimap maps
By the end of 2010 Multimap plan to move all users to Bing Maps.
Bing maps, which came into existence three years
ago, are the Multimap powered maps that appear in the Bing web browser and
elsewhere. As Multimap are now owned by Microsoft, it seemed strange, to some, that Multimap
maps were still in existence, that is, that Bing maps had not
replaced them completely
One explanation might be that, because Bing is a relatively new name in the search engine marketplace, developed to replace the clunky sounding "Microsoft Live Search", Microsoft continued to trade on the name Multimap until Bing had achieved high customer recognition.
- Another explanation might be that Multimap required time to move the full feature set over to Bing maps.
Last year, the Multimap team developed a new version of Bing Maps for the UK and invited users to try it via a link on the Multimap homepage. They found that most people kept using Bing Maps and didn’t come back to Multimap, perhaps because of the speed of Microsoft's servers.
After this experience the latest Multimap features, including the most up to date versions of Ordnance Survey maps, Bird’s Eye views and Aerial imagery, were moved into Bing Maps. Map data was expanded, including detailed restaurant and hotel information, from TopTable and Booking.com. Draggable driving directions were firmly established, competing with the same feature on Google Maps.
By the end of 2010 Multimap plan to move all users to Bing Maps. Multimap users will know they have been moved when they see Bing Maps together with an apologetic message for fans of Multimap.
Although futurism is an inexact art, I'm tempted to suggest that the move away from Multimap will fail. It's a firmly ensconced and memorable brand name, and I'd hazard a guess that UK searchers, being a sentimental bunch, will keep on using it.
An example of a failure to ditch a good brand name is Ask Jeeves. Ask tried to drop the butler a few years ago, but UK users pined for his return, and the Ask Jeeves brand name was revived.