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by CareyBot

Microsoft Corp., following the lead of Google Maps, this week introduced a beta version of an online local search and mapping service that combines aerial imagery with driving directions and other local search tools. Windows Live Local, at, is powered by Microsoft's Virtual Earth mapping and location platform and features a detailed, 45-degree bird's-eye view of major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and Las Vegas, Microsoft announced. "We believe Windows Live Local sets a new standard for what people can do with maps, directions and local search," said Christopher Payne, corporate vice president of MSN Search at Microsoft. "The combination of immersive aerial imagery, customizable map annotations, innovative driving direc...