Google Maps for mobile does Windows

Wayward U.S. travelers wielding wireless Windows devices now have a new option for finding their bearings (or a place for dinner). Google announced today that Google Maps for mobile now runs on Windows Mobile 2003 and higher.

With Google Maps for mobile, users can view interactive maps and satellite imagery, find local businesses, get driving directions, and view live traffic updates, according to Google.

Further, the Windows Mobile 5.0 version of Google Maps for mobile is GPS-enabled, so users can view their current location on the map, and the service can take that location into consideration when users search for local businesses or request driving directions.

Google's move means the company is gaining some ground against rivals like Yahoo and Microsoft in the increasingly lucrative mobile-search space.

Microsoft has offered both a J2ME and .Net version of its Windows Live Search for Mobile for some time. The WLS for Mobile service provides white and yellow page searches, maps, driving directions, traffic conditions, and other features.

Meanwhile, Yahoo recently announced version 2.0 beta of its own mobile suite, which provides features such as local maps, news tickers, a mobile version of the Flickr photo management service, and e-mail.

To download Google Maps for mobile, go to