Microsoft, which operates the Bing maps service, will no longer collect mapping imagery. The company has sold to alternative cab company Uber the cameras it used to collect that image data, as well as a data center near Boulder, Colorado and the 100 engineers who worked on Bing maps.
Fast-growing Uber clearly has money to work with. Uber is committing at least $10 million per year just to hire the engineers, assuming that each of them had a $100,000 salary — a conservative estimate — from Microsoft. The acquisition comes after a report last month about Uber bidding as much as $3 billion for Nokia’s Here mapping and navigation business. Uber last month was reported to be trying to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in a new funding round that would value the company at or above $50 billion.