New Microsoft Office Application Combines Ease of Use With High-Quality Geographic and Demographic Data

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 3, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the newest member of the Microsoft® Office family of applications, Microsoft MapPoint
™
2000 business mapping software. Designed to be as easy to use as Microsoft Office, MapPoint combines complete, accurate geographic and demographic data with easy-to-use analysis tools. MapPoint makes it easy for business users in organizations of any size to use maps to make better-informed business decisions.

Whether pinpointing where customers are coming from or uncovering the hottest sales areas for products, MapPoint provides the features and flexibility users need – from quickly finding and illustrating points on the map to integrating maps into Microsoft Office documents to identifying business trends on the map using their own data – all in one product. By putting powerful mapping analysis into the hands of business users, MapPoint provides a tool that uniquely bridges the gap between inaccessible, hard-to-use geographic information system (GIS) technologies and consumer-focused trip planning and street atlas products, at a price people can afford.

“MapPoint is breaking new ground in the business mapping category,”
said Robbie Bach, vice president of the learning, entertainment and productivity group at Microsoft .
“We’ve seen a growing demand from our customers to be able to use maps to enhance their business. With MapPoint, users of Microsoft Office are no longer forced to learn specialized geographic information systems and concepts to use maps in their everyday work.”

As a companion to Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft MapPoint draws upon the same easy-to-learn and easy-to-use functionality that Microsoft Office users have come to expect. Familiar menus, toolbars and Answer Wizard help functions are standard throughout the product as is the ability to easily integrate into MapPoint data from applications such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client. MapPoint maps can also be shared easily with others by copying or embedding them into Microsoft Office documents, presentations and brochures. Some examples of the different ways users of Microsoft Office can use MapPoint to enhance their work include these:

  • A marketing director organizing a series of regional seminars can plot all possible seminar locations and overlay some of the demographic variables, including total population by age and average household income. This will help determine which seminar locations would be best to book based on where the highest concentration of target customers live.

  • A commercial real estate agent can plot potential office locations and customize the map with notes on each site for a client. The map can then be included in the client proposal and downloaded to a Windows CE operating system-based handheld PC to take a long while scouting each site.

  • A business analyst can visually identify which sales offices across the country garnered the highest sales during a certain time period and then compare the results to markets where advertising occurred, thus determining the effectiveness of the ad campaign.

For all business users, Microsoft MapPoint provides the same high-quality map data found in more expensive GIS systems. Microsoft MapPoint provides a complete country-level map of the world, plus detailed street-level maps for the entire United States from Geographic Data Technology Inc., the leading supplier of U.S. street-level data. In addition, MapPoint includes over 40 megabytes of high-quality demographic variables from Claritas Inc., the industry-leading provider of demographic data. Demographics are included for four time periods, including 1980, 1990, the current year and five-year projections, for population, households, household size, household income, median population age and population by age, down to the ZIP code and census tract level. Additional demographic variables are offered separately from Claritas and its affiliates, ready to view in MapPoint. In the future, supplemental demographic variables are planned to be available via links to Claritas and its affiliates on the MapPoint Web site.

About MapPoint 2000

Find and Illustrate Points on the Map

  • Find Address/Place makes it easy to plot customers, competitors or other business locations on the map.

  • Familiar drawing tools let users customize maps with highlights, lines, arrows, text boxes and more.

  • Street maps can be downloaded easily to a Windows CE-based handheld PC so users can interact with the map while on the road.

Integrate Maps Into Microsoft Office

  • The tools familiar to all Office applications, such as menus, toolbars, ToolTips and the Answer Wizard, are within easy reach.

  • Users can easily share information between Microsoft Office applications and MapPoint with Drag and Plot capabilities that put their data on the map.

  • The Data Import Wizard provides step-by-step simplicity for plotting data from Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Access and Microsoft SQL Server
    ™
    .

  • Users can copy and paste or embed live maps into documents created with Microsoft Office to share with others.

Identify Business Trends Using Maps

  • Users can view customer and sales data geographically by using the Data Mapping Wizard to create shaded area, sized circle or pushpin maps.

  • Users can aggregate and summarize data geographically as well as compare two variables.

  • Users can overlay high-quality demographic data from Claritas Inc. onto their maps, including population, average household size or income and median age.

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft MapPoint is scheduled to be available in retail stores at the same time as Microsoft Office 2000 at an estimated retail price of $109. Please visit the Microsoft MapPoint Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/ for more information, including a MapPoint guided tour, sample scenarios and sample maps.

Claritas Inc., with headquarters in Arlington, Va., has been the nation’s leading provider of precision marketing solutions for more than 25 years. The company integrates a wide array of consumer and business data and segmentation systems into a broad spectrum of technology solutions. Claritas is a subsidiary of New York-based VNU-MIS Precision Marketing Group and can be reached on the World Wide Web at http://www.claritas.com/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, MapPoint, Outlook and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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