On the same day that Google offered street view for Google Moon and $30 million for the Lunar X Prize, Microsoft has announced the signing of the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Microsoft Virtual Earth Partner.
The EPA has licensed the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform to develop mission-critical geospatial and mapping applications and will also integrate Virtual Earth into existing line-of-business applications, including Web-based mapping applications and environmental monitoring systems.
The deal will see Virtual Earth benefit via data sharing and analysis and insight for partner agencies, citizens and nongovernmental NGOs “on topics ranging from superfund sites and oil spills to waterways and the quality of beach water.”
Although Google remains the dominate player in the space, the deal continues Microsoft’s efforts to drive awareness and business through its competitor product. Having said all of that though, Google now offers neighborhood shots from the moon, pretty cool if perhaps without any serious business use; Microsoft might have gotten the contract but Google continues to win the hearts and minds of tech users.