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Uber grabs Microsoft mapping assets and employees

Uber operates in around 300 cities.Uber operates in around 300 cities.
Uber operates in around 300 cities.Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ride-hailing company Uber is turning to Microsoft as it continues to beef up its mapping technology.

The company is acquiring some mapping assets from Microsoft’s Bing search engine along with around 100 Microsoft employees, according to TechCrunch. These employees were responsible for getting image data into Bing, including its 3D, aerial, and street footage. However, it’s not clear exactly what the assets are.

While Microsoft has shown no intention to part with Bing as a whole, a fine-tuning of its products and priorities is in line with the company’s efforts towards creating a more focused business. As for Uber, the acquisition is far from surprising given its efforts to bolster its mapping technology. The company recently poached Google’s former head of its Maps product, Brian McClendon, who will oversee Uber’s research and development center in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Terms of the Microsoft deal were not disclosed.


Uber was also recently in the bidding for Nokia’s mapping business, HERE. It was reportedly willing to pay $3 billion for it, according to the New York Times.