I am looking at the reactions that are rolling in post the launch of Virtual Earth. Very interesting patterns – Linux and Mac fans are dissing the few glitches that have been noticed. Rest of the world has mostly been positive and a bit more balanced in their assessment of the product.
Google has set a high bar for what is considered “beta” quality. The VE team, very capable in their own right, will surely take up the challenge of beating google at the beta game. What they have been able to accomplish in 100 days (from scratch) bodes well for future releases. It will also be interesting to see how the two products fare as “platforms”. The API war is now on – and cool applications are rolling out already.
In the end – whatever the outcome- there is one sureshot winner – the consumer.