Redmond Uber-alles: 100 Bing staffers driven to dial-a-car developer

Microsoft offloads mapping outfit to San Francisco auto-pusher

Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Microsoft has agreed to sell off part of its Bing search operation to Uber.

Redmond said on Monday that it would be moving its Bing mapping division to Uber, along with approximately 100 MS employees. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For Microsoft, the agreement represents part of an effort within the software giant to shed some of its excess operations.

"Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company’s efforts around our core business strategy," an MS mouthpiece told El Reg.

"In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience. With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber."

Uber has not said what exactly it plans to do with the newly-acquired Microsoft mapping outfit and its 100-or-so workers. Presumably, the maps will be used to supplement Uber's own mapping services for drivers, though the dial-a-car app developer remains vague on its intent.

"We’re excited about the talent and technology this acquisition brings," Uber told El Reg.

"Mapping is at the heart of what makes Uber great. So we’ll continue to work with partners, as well as invest in our own technology, to build the best possible experience for riders and drivers."

The deal was a welcome bit of good news for Uber after the company found itself under attack in France, both literally and metaphorically, as protesters and government alike try to boot the UberPop service from their streets, while giving its execs a hard time.

Microsoft announced it was offloading part of its mapping division on the same day that it confirmed it had struck a new 10-year search deal with AOL, which – in return – will sell and manage ads both on its own search site and on Bing. ®


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