Killing MSN Maps and Directions

The time has come to say good-bye to MSN Maps and Directions and say hello to Windows Live Local. The product team has decided that in order for everyone to appreciate Windows Live Local, users need to stop using MSN Maps and Directions and be force fed WLL in order to love it.. And they will! It's amazing to me that some of my friends still use MapQuest when the experience just isn't the same . . . some friends.

In any case, MSN Maps and Directions is going down and everyone will be referred over to Windows Live Local.

Great. Who cares? Distinctly requested maps are a thing of the past and WLL is the future! Or, would that be the present? Anyhow, how about the thousands of people who are linking over to MSN Maps and Directions from their own web sites? What if you don't care that maps aren't integrated into your site (private labelled) and just want to link your customers to a site for maps and directions? Will they be forwarded to the proper screens in Windows Live Local from MSN? Yes, but it's not ready yet so be proactive!

Follow this documentation instructions for linking to Windows Live Local:

When are we killing MSN Maps and Directions? Soon - like very soon.


Comments (43)
  1. Damir Tomicic says:

    I assume, that you will cover european countries too as MSN does at the moment? Based on MapPoint WS?

    Otherwise, this sounds to me like a major desaster …


  2. Matt says:

    Hi, just a comment about this one of the things that I still use MSN Maps & Directions for is maps and directions for Canada. Are there plans to move this capacity to WLL?

  3. cpendle says:

    Yes! We will not be killing off Maps & Directions for Canada ( When Canada gets added to Windows Live Local you can bet it will get taken down, but until then it will remain intact.

  4. cpendle says:

    In fact, we will only be killing off the U.S. MSN Maps and Directions in February. As we expand into other countries on Windows Live Local we will continually replace the MSN experience with Windows Live Local.

  5. Leslie says:

    I am so glad that you won’t be “killing off Canada” as I would then have to find someplace else to live!  I am currently trying to find an address in Vancouver, British Columbia and the last time I checked, it was still in Canada.  Now I can’t find anything for Canada and so far, I have absolutely no time or patience for your new site.  Would you be so kind as to let me know how to find an address in Canada at this time.  Thank you.  


    Canada has not been launched in Windows Live Local just yet, so you’ll still want to use Canada is coming though; we love you.


  6. Larry says:

    I just tried to get one of those great MSN maps–as I did a day or two ago–and it wasn’t there!  It sent me to some weird, lousy map that you can’t control, that’s not at all clear–and that gives you the wrong directions! Why?? Why “kill” a great system? I had to go back to MapQuest, which I hadn’t been using much–but now it seems great by comparison!

    Is there ANY way to use that good old MSN map system?


    I’m not sure why you’d want to go back to MSN Maps and Directions, but here you go: I think if you spent about 10 minutes on the site you’d figure it out. It is different but change is good. 🙂


  7. Just Me says:

    The new site absolutely, 100%, SUCKS. All I want to is locate a particular city. Now I can’t even do this. Why is that good things are always fucked up to make it worse with something so-called “new?”


    I’m not sure why you think it sucks? What city are you looking for? There has been some complaints about the what/where boxes. There is a what box which is the Local Search part of Windows Live Local; the where box is where you would put a city. Have a little patience and learn the new site – it’s worth it! We are working on consolidating the what/where box into a single box, so the confusion will go away soon enough.


  8. Matthew says:

    It has finally happened. Most visit to the US MSN Maps and Directions page in now being redirected to Windows Live Local. Rest assure though, all supported URL API or links will still function as expected through the redirect, so if your web site has proper links, they functionality will be preserved. In those less common situations where a link request information that is not available in Windows Live Local, it will still stay in MSN Maps and Directions.

    Hint: Driving directions between addresses in Canada does function in WLL, but you will have to put “, Canada” at the end of the address for it to work at this moment.


    That is correct. Because we are using routing from MapPoint Web Service to power Windows Live Local and Canada and the US are in the same data source it was easy to just keep routing from US to Canada (or vice versa) in tact.


  9. Gary Rowley says:

    This <Windows Live Local> is —terable, does not work, gives the wrong answers, and is not user friendly. Please put back the MSN Maps and Directions. I will fiend another way to get the info I need. if this continues.



    Patience is a virtue. Make sure you’re entering your information in the correct box – places, address, postal codes – anything geographic goes in the “where” box; things like coffee, groceries, and beer go in the “what” box. Give it a chance and I guarantee you’ll wonder why we didn’t do this a long time ago.


  10. UK Map user says:

    What is this WLL crap??  Takes ages to load up and then it completely unusable.  I entered UK postcodes for start & end addresses as I always have in the past and… nothing.  Anything outside USA might as well not exist as far as Microsoft are concerned.  Why change something that works ?? MSN was fine as it was.

  11. BD says:

    What a shame.


    We’re not shameful. This is a good thing.

  12. Eddy says:

    MSN Maps for Europe are in the trashbin!
    Nothing works…
    Not even the “redirect=false” link.
    do you guys have another solution or suggestion?
    MSN Maps  w a s  great for local use. It had a very good way in handling routes on rural roads. Even small and narrow roads were knew as you liked them to do some sightseeing.

    WLL sucks!


    So verbose. You can use Bollix!

  13. Peter says:

    To UK Map user. If it is UK maps you need, then you should go to


  14. Lane says:

    This new site is not nearly as precise nor is it as user friendly, regardless of your “sales pitch”. All my previous cities come up by merely entering the first letter on the previous version and I have better control of what I am searching for—not certain who sold the idea of this “new” system to Msn but it’s a pathetic mistake. There was/is no reason subscribers need to learn something different—it worked, wasn’t broke, so why change it.


    Sales pitch? It’s too bad this is too advanced for you. I guess we’ll need to dumb it down a bit. As for you cities not being found, it’s using MapPoint Web Service just like MSN Maps and Directions so your analogy is considerably skewed. If you want to bag on something bag on the Windows Live Local naming convention. At least that actually has deficiencies.


  15. barbara brown says:

    i like the old map the window live local always tells me it cant find the darn address the old one never said that it gave me the darn directions


    I wonder if you aren’t entering an address in the “What” box instead of the “Where” box? I know the two boxes on WLL is just atrocious and we’re working to fix it, but for now you just need to be cognizant of what box you’re entering information into. Again, they are using the same geocoder – MapPoint Web Service.


  16. Gary Manson says:

    WHAT  IDIOT came up with the new maps and directions.  Get him a job somewhere and leave us alone


    So great.


  17. jeri says:

    Thanks for providing the OLD link to the OLD Maps & Directions.
    I use it quite often, especially when I’m in a MAD rush !!

    The new one is sooo cumbersome and unmanageable.

    I’ll stick to the old one, thanks.



    You just need to spend time on WLL. Its new! MapQuest has you so brainwashed as to what a mapping site *should* look like that many people (including yourself) feel we’re way to far outside the box when the truth is we’re helping people rethink how a mapping site should operate. Get outside the box with us!


  18. steve says:

    the old maps & directions program was much better than the new version.  bring it back as an option


    Amazing that I still get these. It still is an option:


  19. Bill says:

    I think WLL is OUTSTANDING.  I cannot believe that these dumb asses cannot figure it out. Hey dumb asses, this is in BETA and it will I’m sure expand to cover all of the areas that MSN did. These must be AOL members, no one else is that stoopid ( sic )  Don’t be so damned cheap, if it maps and directions you want BUY Microsoft Streets and Trips.

    HOORAY to Microsoft, can’t wait till WLL covers my area.

    Tell Bill Gates thanks from me.

    Bill C

    Monterey, CA


    That’s what I’m talking about.


  20. Bill says:

    No Problem

  21. Mike Lucey says:

    The new version SUCKS!!
    I am back to Mapquest.


    Yeah, MapQuest runs better on AOL dial up. Cya.


  22. John says:

    Old MSN map was much better.  The maps contained more detail, when zoomed out, which is great when you don’t know an area such as a state or county.


    Embrace the future.


  23. Jack says:

    I liked the old version best, er, MUCH BETTER.  One aspect I really appreciated was simply being able to zoom in and zoom out on a particular AREA, without any address.  I could click on Virginia, for instance, and keep zooming (and repositioning) on the area of Lake Anna.  That way I could check out the roads leading to it and surrounding it and close up.  VERY HELPFUL.  Plus, the map was large for broadband and of a more square dimension.  Is there a way to still use the old version?


    Yes –


  24. Chris says:

     Leave it to Microsoft to ruin a good thing.  I’ve tried to use the new MSN mapping site (“Window Live Local”) several times, and it simply astounds me that anyone would think this new system is better than the old MSN Maps and Directions.  It’s very clear to me as a college student graduating shortly with a degree in human factors psychology, that the design team that created this monstrosity did not consult any human factors specialists when creating WLL–or if they did, they did not heed their advice.  WLL was created by a bunch of web design specialists who never put any thought into making their end product user-friendly, or for that matter even usable.  It violates numerous design principles, not the least of which are the principles of consistency and the principle of catering to the user’s mental model.  If your product cannot be utilized effectively by your prospective users, then you’ve just wasted your time creating a piece of junk.


    Ok, well, let’s hear your ideas. I’m reading lots of criticism here with no suggestions from someone with nothing but a college education. Most kids out of college think they know everything, so tell me what you know. And, FYI, we spend quite an investment on people interacting with the site and how they would do what. Sorry it isn’t in a style layout, but with the way the mapping world has changed in the last 12 months (and not MQ), perhaps your psychology books are a bit out of date.


  25. Paul says:

           I noticed, while surfing the list of critics of WLL, that your responces were geared more to sarcasem than a genuine explaniation of the supposed benifits of the change that has been made. Some people resort to that type of comeback when they lack the diplomatic abilaty to make there point in a reasonable way. I’m sure you realize that many of us are occasional users, some of an advanced age, as I am, with little time left to become geared to this relitivly new method of comunicating. (PC) “MSN maps and Directions” worked very well for me. It will be interesting to see what sour grapes you will direct at me.


    I do tend to lay on the sarcasm pretty thick, but it’s all meant in fun. If there is a specific problem you would like me to address let me know. I tend to get sarcastic with people who get sassy with me – if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. So, no sour grapes for you – but I will share a glass of whine. 😉


  26. DarryDoo says:

    Wow. Just, Wow. You invite criticism; people provide criticism; you attack their education, intelligence, choice of ISP, and so forth. For shame.

    Perhaps you’re too close to the project to see the problems!

    Microsoft’s modus operandi hasn’t changed since the days of Windows 3.x — instead of LISTENING TO and EVALUATING FEEDBACK, MS’ers tend to: implement too soon; ignore bugs; alienate current users; implement new features rather than fix current problems; etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseum. Prime example: Excel. Still has bugs that have existed since the early days — but has new (bloatware) features galore!

    Wanna guess at my intelligence, age, education, and ISP? Asshole.


    See, now you’ve gone and taken this to a personal level. Calling names . . . shame, shame – clearly a sign of immaturity. I expect criticism, but this is just uncalled for. I’m going to publish this post to show everyone else your tunnel vision comparing the transition from MSN Maps and Directions to Windows Live Local to the “bugs” not being fixed in Excel.

    I’ve been in software most of my life as have many people at Microsoft. We have to prioritize based on Market opportunity and partner and customer feedback. You balance that with the limited resources we have on our group, plus the turnover for career movement (which Microsoft supplies plenty of) and you’ve got a truly challenging and dynamic situation. I don’t question your education, age, intelligence or ISP (I like that reference) – at this point there’s no question, whatsoever.


  27. cece says:

    i liked msn directions better because they gave you the options of not using the motorway and i cant seem to find it on this site


    Actually, we didn’t have that option on MSN Maps and Directions. In fact, we’re just building it into MapPoint Web Service now; however, since we’re not updating MSN Maps and Directions you won’t see it there – you will see it on Windows Live Local and you can certainly integrate it into your own site soon using MapPoint Web Service.


  28. mike says:

    i work for a roadside assistance company and the new windows live is bullshit!!!!!!! i still always use the same user friendly msn maps & directions. awesome program!!! windows live is absolutely horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Any reasoning behind this claim?


  29. john beyer says:

    You have lost me. your new map service is cumbersome and wastes my time. msn maps etc. was simple to use and provided the kind of maps i expected when i was looking for a map that i could print out and take with me when i took a trip to an unfamiliar soon as i can i will discontinue my use of any msn search services. it’s a pity that so many of your people have lost their sense of history or never had it in the first place.”out with the old, in with the new and full speed ahead to ????”


    Perhaps it’s time to change your expectations? It’s all about 3D now:


  30. hope says:

    i myself prefer the  Old MSN Maps & Direction,

    we are truck drivers 18 wheels and the old map gave us better view of our exits our restricted roads could be compared to the map and directions given by people who drive a small 4wheel vehicle and think we can do the same, we see the gross weight limit roads, we see exactly where we can and can’t go. and for all those who say buy msn streets and maps we use that also for comparrison, we use promiles, but all in all the old MSN Maps & Directions is best, and belief me we compare, mapquest, yahoo maps, and the new MSN, and from our view they don’t hold a candle to the old map, next time your on teh highway and a truck seems out of place ask yourself which map or who gave them directions and how!!!!!


    I have a GPS system in my car. Perhaps you have one in your truck? How nice would it be to see this in 3D as you drive down the street? Well, that’s where we are now: But, if you still like the old site you can still use it –


  31. J. E.Riley says:

    I have just finished reading the posts on this blog.  I agree with many of the posts.  I would rather that you not replace Map Point maps.  Its a system that works very well and gives great response.

    I would request that you not discontinue Map Point.

    Oh yes, Windows Live Local is not customer focused, nor wanted by the customer.




  32. roy says:

    to the people who control the old mappoint website…

    what are you doing? why are you changing to that windows live local? it is not user friendly. you can’t possibly believe that new site is better. just leave well enough alone. we need that old mappoint. at least put a link on the live local site so we can find it easy when we’re using someone else’s computer.


    We had a link to the old site on WLL, but took it down because no one clicked on it.


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