According to a statement provided to NeoWin, Microsoft has nothing to say on whether it will capitalize in the current, unique situation in the world of iOS, as the most recent update to the mobile platform has led to a storm of controversy concerning its new, Apple-produced mapping capabilities.
For many folks, the new mapping tools just don’t work well, and are in many cases providing information that is flat wrong. Moving from the exceptionally stable Google mapping technology that had been present in iOS before, to its own system was an important move by Apple, but one that appears to have been rushed, or at least undertested before its release.
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Microsoft’s Bing app in the iOS provides mapping technology, and has a live version in the iOS App Store. On the other hand, Google’s map app is sitting in the sidelines, with many reporting that it has been submitted for passage, but is awaiting approval. Others have it that the app has yet to be submitted. Either way, iOS users are currently stuck with an official mapping tool that is weak, whilst the leader in online mapping, Google, – I honestly don’t think that that is a debatable claim – is nowhere to be seen.
Enter Bing, right? This is its moment to drop, or at least promise, a massive update that will lead disgruntled iOS 6 and iPhone 5 users to the promised land, in a swoop snagging market share and prestige away from its two chief rivals. But, Microsoft is saying but this:
Bing has a solid existing experience for iPhone customers. We don’t have anything to share about future plans or updates.
This feels like a PR person’s dream moment. What we have is a weird mixture of mistakes and exclusion that has led to the door for a critical mobile capability on one of the most popular smartphone platforms being thrown wide open. And Bing would love more mobile market share, as its main chariot, Windows Phone, advances but slowly.
Making this point, others are working to take advantage of the bickering of the big boys. From Ars Technica today, a story entitled “Transit app developers see iOS 6 Maps as a chance to shine” in which the public relations meltdown and exclusion of public transit information from the map tool have created a new situation in which developers can build new things for iOS and hit an audience at scale.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has no comment. Let’s hope it’s just being coy.
Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble