Streetside has been available in the US for some time. But this will be the first image collection in Europe, with plans to send the cars around the UK, Germany, France and Spain. According to eWeek Europe, Microsoft hopes the service in the UK will be ready by mid-May but that's depending on the April Showers. The same weather that convinced the Luftwaffe not to bother may postpone Redmond's attempt, too.
Microsoft will be using Navteq, a Nokia subsiadary, to map the world and its dog. Must be a big contract for Navteq / Nokia - no Elop swing factor coincidence here, shorely.
The cars, it is thought, will also map landmarks, pubs etc. Which is useful as the traditional method for navigating in the UK is to turn right at the landmark to get to the pub. Of course, the services already exist elsewhere so we're wondering what Microsoft's goal with Streetside is - probably making it the de facto mapping service on the Windows Phone OS soon to be found in Microsoft and Nokia phones alike.
Microsoft promises that, unlike Google and its gigantic data-gathering SNAFU, "rogue engineers" won't be hastily jotting down Wi-Fi pass codes or similar.