This is just too cool not to blog: MSN Virtual Earth is announced by Bill Gates at the D3 conference in San Francisco.

In addition to overlaid satellite and street map data, Virtual Earth can generate 45-degree-views of locations.  To quote one writer, watching Virtual Earth flip from satellite overhead view to a 45-degree close-up of a building produced "the first 'ohhhhhhhhhhhh' moment of the conference."

[Update: Here's a writeup in the blog of one of the Virtual Earth Developers!]