Microsoft is releasing a new Bing Maps app for Windows 8.1 as a preview of the changes it's planning for mapping. The software giant says the new app has been "built from the ground up" to provide the detail and mapping features you'd expect in a modern app. Microsoft is supporting the various Snap Views in Windows 8.1 and the notification features of the operating system, alongside Live Tile support.

Microsoft's existing Bing Maps app for Windows 8 provides similar features, but the software maker has built in StreetSide support in the latest preview version. A new "bubble view" will preview StreetSide imagery alongside maps with road names, and maps will also rotate when you move around the interface. Unlike the existing app, Microsoft is also placing a visible search-box in the interface, with navigation controls placed on the left-hand side.

The Bing Maps preview also includes a new traffic notification feature that will provide notifications for a favorite saved route at specific times of the day. Real-time traffic notifications will be provided on the Live Tile or via notification toasts throughout Windows 8.1. Similar to the Windows Phone implementation, Bing Maps preview for Windows 8.1 also includes a Local Scout feature that surfaces local points of interest like restaurants and shops. All the features are available immediately in the Bing Maps preview for Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store.