Windows users, if you’d like to get your hands on a mapping alternative that isn’t Google Maps or Bing Maps, you might be interested to learn that Nokia will be releasing their Here Maps application for free over the next few days to Windows 8.1 users. This includes devices running on Windows Pro or Windows RT. The app was previously only available for Nokia’s Lumia 2520 tablet, the Finnish company’s first Windows RT tablet, but it seems that Nokia has decided to make it more widely available to everyone else, according to its blog.
Nokia’s Here Maps has been highly praised and is one of the more unique features of Nokia’s Lumia devices. Just like the mobile version, the PC/laptop/tablet version will be able to access offline maps. Also for those using hybrid devices, such as laptops with touchscreen displays, you will also be able to interact with the Nokia Here Maps as you would with a regular touchscreen device. Alternatively the keyboard and mouse combo works too if you’re using a PC without a touchscreen display. The rollout is expected to kick off in North America and Europe first, so if you’re living in other parts of the world, you guys will just have to be patient as we’re sure it will get to you eventually.
While Nokia Here Maps will be part of Nokia after the acquisition of Microsoft, one of the conditions was that Nokia would have to license the use of Nokia Here Maps to the company. Of course it might seem like it would compete with Bing Maps, but better to offer their own alternative than drive users to Google Maps, right?