Users prevail: Microsoft undoes forced move to Multimap

Posted by sumeethevans on April 16 2008, 1:21 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Within hours of Microsoft redirecting its UK users from Live Search Maps to Multimap last week, user dissatisfaction spread like wildfire.

On Monday, April 14, Microsoft responded and restored full Live Search Maps access to disgruntled users.

Microsoft bought Multimap in December 2007 and made it a subsidiary of its Virtual Earth and Search teams.

Microsoft released new versions of Live Search Maps and Virtual Earth 3D on April 11. At the same time, it unleashed the forced move to Mulimap on its UK customers.

The decision to make the new versions of Live Maps and Virtual Earth unavailable to UK users caught many, including some Microsoft employees themselves, off-guard. The LiveSide.Net folks responded by publishing a workaround, allowing UK users to circumvent Multimap.

I heard from a couple of less-than-happy UK customers over the weekend. From one:

“Microsoft seem to have integrated their virtual earth technology in to multimap, but we have lost a great deal of functionality in the process. & more importantly, we can’t access our collections anymore unless we access the site using a querystring that forces us to use the US version of the site!!”

It’s smart that Microsoft reversed its unpopular decision. But one has to wonder: Why did the company flip the MultiMap switch with no prior warning in the first place?

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