Windows Live Local Sells Billboard Ads

Hong Kong’s cunning advertising agencies always have the creativity in capturing the attention of people. Whether waiting for the MTR or the lift (elevator in many countries) or riding the bus, ads seem to follow people all the time. With the impending popularity of video ads, humans and ads luring them to patronize certain business becomes more inseparable than ever.

And just like unfinished sites having minimal content with maximized Adsense exposure (also known as Made For Adsense sites), Windows Live moves toward monetization of these strikingly great portraits of major cities in the United States: San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Phoenix, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and Fort Worth. My personal experience with map services provided by Google Maps, Yahoo! MapQuest and MSN Live Local showed that MSN provides the best quality aerial and hybrid maps and 3-d images (at least when looking at Hong Kong maps).

Maybe I am just too blunt to start the previous paragraph saying that MSN Live Local is a worthless page that aims to earn money from people who try to pore over an area looking for a familiar building or landmark. Far from it.

It’s just not the right marketing idea of generating revenue in my opinion. It’s not like you are staring the Hong Kong skyline from the top where the actual ads of Siemens, Sinopec, PCCW and Renesas appear. It’s a little deception to the viewers who are looking for actual bird’s eye view on a certain location. But who are we to say this is wrong when we’re not paying to find something from the page. It’s a business model.

As the bird’s eye view feature was launched, MSN Virtual Earth got renamed MSN Live Local in accordance to a new branding move which left me confused at best. And it’s not just in the name. The feature won’t work in Firefox as it requires later versions of Internet Explorer. And while Google Earth is also a “large” software download, this version is no better either.