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Winner, winner, chicken dinner....

Dear Virtual Earth Customer,

As has been communicated periodically over the last several months, we’d like to provide you another friendly reminder and an update regarding the planned deprecation schedule for older versions of Virtual Earth.  Specifically, we’d like to remind you that we will be permanently retiring Virtual Earth version 3 and version 4, and will be automatically upgrading version 5 on September inner22nd, 2008. Also, we’d like to let you know that the planned automatic upgrade of version 6.0 to version 6.1 that was scheduled for August 28th, 2008 has been postponed to a later date. The revised date for the automatic upgrade of version 6.0 to version 6.1 is still being determined and we will let you know the revised date as soon as possible.

If you are currently using one of the older versions of Virtual Earth, please read this notification and the end-of-life and automatic upgrade schedule that applies to the version(s) of Virtual Earth that you are using. Please note, this Virtual Earth version end-of-life and automatic upgrade plan only applies to Virtual Earth, it does not affect the MapPoint Web Service.  Also, please note that the end-of-life and automatic upgrade dates that were previously communicated have been extended to the revised dates outlined below.

Upgrade information by Virtual Earth version number:

In the table below, find the Virtual Earth version you are currently using and note the end-of-life date or automatic upgrade date indicated and the action you will need to take (if any).

Version 3

http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/v3/mapcontrol.js or http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=3

End-of-life on September 22, 2008

Version 3 will no longer work after this date.

Upgrade any applications that are using Virtual Earth version 3 to Virtual Earth version 6.1 by September 22, 2008 to ensure Virtual Earth service availability.

Version 4

http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/v4/mapcontrol.js or http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=4

End-of-life on September 22, 2008

Version 4 will no longer work after this date.

Upgrade any applications that are using Virtual Earth version 4 to Virtual Earth version 6.1 by September 22, 2008 to ensure Virtual Earth service availability.

Version 5

http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/v5/mapcontrol.js or http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=5

Automatic upgrade on September 22, 2008

Version 5 will be automatically upgraded to Virtual Earth version 6.1.

Since Virtual Earth version 6.1  is backward compatible with version 5, no action should be required by you. However, we strongly encourage you to test your version 5 applications against version 6.1 prior to September 22, 2008 to ensure there are no unforeseen issues with your applications when version 5 is automatically upgraded to version 6.1. Alternatively, you can choose to actively upgrade your version 5 applications to version 6.1 prior to September 22, 2008.

Version 6.0

http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6

Automatic upgrade was previously scheduled for August 28, 2008, but it has been postponed to a later date (to be announced).

Version 6.0 will be automatically upgraded to Virtual Earth version 6.1.

Since Virtual Earth version 6.1  is backward compatible with version 6.0, no action should be required by you. However, we strongly encourage you to test your version 6.0 applications against version 6.1 prior to the specified automatic upgrade date (to be announced) to ensure there are no unforeseen issues with your applications when version 6.0 is automatically upgraded to version 6.1. Alternatively, you can choose to actively upgrade your version 6.0 applications to version 6.1 prior the specified automatic upgrade date (to be announced)

Important additional information:

Before you begin upgrading to Virtual Earth version 6.1 from version 3, version 4 or version 5, you will want to review the technical documentation on how to migrate from these older versions of Virtual Earth. You can find this important documentation on msdn.microsoft.com here.  Also, when upgrading to Virtual Earth version 6.1, be sure to implement the version 6.1 Customer Identification feature as documented on msdn.microsoft.com here. Once you implement this feature, you will be able to take full advantage of the transaction reporting capabilities that are included in Virtual Earth.

You can begin incorporating the latest features of Virtual Earth version 6.1 by using the Virtual Earth SDK. The Virtual Earth SDK provides scenario-based, hands-on demonstrations with associated sample code and references. You can also access other Virtual Earth developer resources such as the Virtual Earth Developer Forum to connect with other Virtual Earth developers.

Also, please remember to always keep your organization’s contact info current so that you receive important Virtual Earth and MapPoint Web Service customer notifications. You can add, remove, or modify e-mail addresses via the ‘Manage Account’ section of the Virtual Earth Platform Customer Services Site for your Virtual Earth & MapPoint Web Service account.  Note, you can add multiple e-mail addresses to the list by simply separating each e-mail address with a comma. Making sure that we have your current e-mail addresses on file will ensure that your organization is notified of any important changes that may impact your access to the MapPoint Web Service and Virtual Earth API's.

Thank you,

The Virtual Earth Platform Team

Microsoft Corporation

CP