Slowly Bing is handing over more of its mapping “back end” functions to Nokia, as part of the deal that brought the two together for the Lumia-Windows Phone partnership.
Yesterday Microsoft announced that in 24 countries, including the US and UK, Nokia (Navteq) will be delivering traffic data to Bing Maps. The company also said that it would start using Nokia’s geocoding services in several (unnamed) countries to improve directions.
In May last year I wrote Bing Maps To Be Powered (Replaced) By Nokia? A source argued to me that over time Nokia would gradually replace most of the infrastructure behind Bing Maps. I was very surprised at the time but it appears to be happening.
This mapping integration was allegedly, according to my source, one of the sticking points that caused Nokia to pass on Android as a platform. Google wouldn’t similarly agree to a commingling of Google Maps with Nokia on the back end. However if Windows Phone fails to deliver for Nokia — so far results have been modest — the company may be compelled to embrace Android as a survival move.
Nokia is also behind the new Yahoo Maps. My suspicion is that Nokia hopes to eventually make these third party mapping services part of its local ad network.
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