Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 Helps Ease Stress Associated With Road Travel

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 15, 2008 — For more than a decade, Microsoft Corp. has been committed to providing intuitive and easy-to-use mapping solutions that help consumers plan ahead and drive with confidence once on the road. Microsoft has taken its commitment to the next level with the launch today of Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 Standard and Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 with GPS Locator, which combines the No. 1 best-selling1 travel and mapping software for the U.S. with a Pharos Science & Applications Inc. Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that plugs into the Universal Serial Bus port on a PC. The updated versions deliver the trip-planning and driving tools that consumers have come to love and expect, along with several new and enhanced features that will help consumers save even more time and money while on the road.

As fuel prices skyrocket, more and more travelers cancel or look for affordable alternatives to scheduled family vacations. Many opt for “staycations” — or take time off work to enjoy the sights and places close to home that they may have overlooked or never made the time to go see.

“Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 is an especially good option if you are watching your pocketbook,” said Lori Stock, senior product manager for Streets & Trips at Microsoft. “Whether you are exploring regional hot spots or your very own neighborhood, Microsoft Streets & Trips will help you find nearby places of interest and calculate the most efficient route between stops. The GPS version has all the same great features but will also guide you to those destinations with spoken streets names, which gives you a hands-free solution to help make trips as smooth and stress-free as possible.”

Exploring Your Own Backyard

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 is packed with tools to help consumers take advantage of all of those gems and destinations that are close to home. Streets & Trips hosts more than 1.5 million points of interest such as hotels, restaurants, national parks and ATMs, which means users have at their fingertips all the information necessary to make a memorable and fun trip. The software’s Find Nearby Places feature allows travelers to search a radius up to 50 miles to find select points of interest and then gives users detailed directions and contact information so they are ready to hit the road in no time. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 also comes with a free trial membership to Entertainment® online, which allows travelers to trim expenses by taking advantage of special savings at restaurants, hotels and special events.

Planning Helps to Ensure a Smooth Ride

It is no surprise that unexpected hang-ups and slowdowns on the road leave many feeling anxious and stressed. Microsoft Streets & Trips is an easy way to get customized, highly detailed driving directions that will help consumers plan for the unexpected so they can relax and enjoy the time spent on the road. Road construction updates, available online at no additional charge, inform users on important local, state, national (U.S.) and international (Canada) construction updates and road closures. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 will then create routes that bypass such hang-ups to minimize frustrating delays and unexpected stops. No matter where a trip takes you, planning ahead of time and building in stops for meals, bathroom breaks, fuel and sightseeing using the customization tools available in Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 is a surefire way to reduce stress and gives travelers the freedom to relax behind the wheel.

Reducing the Gas Guzzle

With prices rising at the pumps, it is more important than ever to make the most of a tank of gas. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 helps consumers find the most efficient route and gives them the easy-to-use tools to calculate traveling expenses before they even walk out the front door. Using the car’s tank size and mileage per gallon, along with the current price for fuel, users can use the Microsoft Streets & Trips fuel consumption manager to calculate a cost estimate for each trip. Automatic re-routing in the GPS version also helps to keep consumers on track after a wrong turn, which can decrease wasted gas and save consumers valuable time.

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 includes the following new features:

  • New!

    Entertainment online free trial membership so that consumers can take advantage of special savings at restaurants, hotels and special events2

  • New!

    Updated street maps for the U.S. and Canada

  • New! Updated user interface that has an even more intuitive look and feel

  • New! Ability to send location information to a mobile device3

With Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS Locator, you get all of the above, plus the following:

  • New! Spoken street names that provide consumers with an easy-to-use, hands-free solution that delivers turn-by-turn directional information to the desired destination

Availability

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 with GPS Locator is scheduled for availability Sept. 15, 2008, for an estimated retail price of $74.95 (U.S.).4 Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 Standard is available for an estimated retail price of $39.95 (U.S.). For those planning European vacations, Microsoft AutoRoute 2007 will be available for an estimated retail price of $39.95 (U.S.).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Source: The NPD Group Inc./Retail Tracking Service, January 2000–January 2008. Based on total U.S. retail sales.

2 Entertainment online offer details: Free trial lasts for 14 days. Trial begins when you first sign up with Entertainment online through Streets & Trips. Valid only in the United States, D.C., and Canada with the purchase of Streets & Trips 2009. You must activate your trial membership before June 1, 2011, to use this offer. Free trial offer is not available to current Entertainment online subscribers. Additional restrictions apply; see http://www.entertainment.com/microsoftst/info.html for more information.

3 You may be charged a fee by your wireless provider to receive messages.

4 Actual retail prices may vary.

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