Live Local was launched last year in the US and the UK version extends the offering's local search, aerial images and driving directions to the UK.
Microsoft has also released an API to allow programmers to integrate the service into their websites.
The 'Bird's Eye' view of aerial photos currently includes 230 square miles of London, as well as Portsmouth, Southampton and Cambridge, and Microsoft plans to cover 80 per cent of Europe within the next 24 months.
"The unique 45-degree imagery is produced by flying over an urban area and, even though it's a very 'wow' technology, it does have serious business implications for retail, tourism and real estate," Peter Williams, Microsoft's international marketing head for Virtual Earth, told vnunet.com.
"For example, if you're in commercial real estate and you're trying to buy an office and you look at today's traditional overhead imagery, all you're going to see is the cooling towers and the air conditioning units at the top giving you no appreciation of height.
"Our oblique imagery with its angled view can literally point people to the entrance to the building or where the parking bays are and even add driving directions right to the door."
Williams explained that customers adding personalised Windows Live Local web applications to their sites would need to pay if the usage was high.
"The service is transaction-based and anything less than 5,000 transactions is a free developer account, while anything above that you enter into a contract with Microsoft," he said.
"Essentially you can block-buy a number of transactions, with a minimum level that is followed beyond that in hundreds of thousands or millions of transactions."
Williams defined a transaction as downloading eight tiles of imagery. Driving directions or searches count as extra transactions.
Customers currently using Microsoft MapPoint Web Services will eventually transfer to the Virtual Earth platform.
The US version of Windows Live Local has added real-time traffic information to its service, and Microsoft plans to include this in a future update on the UK site.
Other features include saved collections to give permanent links to favourite places, and shared sessions between users on Windows Live Messenger.
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