Virtual Earth keeps drawing my attention. Seriously, have you seen the features they've been adding? I noticed they now have a wifi hotspot locator. The only thing I don't see is a way to submit new hotspots, for example it lists the UPS store in my area but a St. Louis Bread Company (Panera) opened a couple of weeks ago and I wish I could submit it as another hotspot. There must be a legal issue or something, I'm sure they don't want it to be a place for people to submit unprotected wireless networks they've found.
Link to Windows Live™ WiFi Hotspot Locator Beta
Also, I see on the Virtual Earth team blog that now when you trace in a custom map it will measure distance for you. I have a friend who's an ultra-marathon runner. I'm sure he'll be all over this.
I also just learned that you can navigate Virtual Earth with an Xbox 360 controller. Yeap, this has been there in Virtual Earth 3D all along and I didn't realize it until I heard about it by proxy of a friend who had recently been visiting with the Live.com group on campus. I guess I'll have to start taking a controller on the road with me when I demo. This all adds value to the third pillar. It's been a while since I traveled with Xbox gear but with Halo 3 going to beta I may have to start lugging the extra weight again.
Finally, I know this is a "me too" thing but I want to point out the new Microsoft.com.
for your friend the marathon runner - here's a link i created for the marine marathon in DC...
the interesting part is that when the latest virtual earth released, the new measurement ability automatically applied to existing lines!