REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 18, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced three new mapping products, furthering the company’s commitment to the rapidly growing mapping software market. The Microsoft® Automap® Streets Plus and Microsoft Automap Streets Plus, Deluxe Edition travel series are available immediately; Microsoft Automap Trip Planner is scheduled to be in stores in October. These 1997 editions of the Automap line include new maps, new content and new functionality.
The new products include online links to current tourist and travel information for users with Internet access via Automap Online, the ability to add user information and listings from the American Yellow Pages
via Pushpins to the maps,
and Classic Drives for fun travel planning, more roads than ever before, and comprehensive travel articles and information. The Automap line is global positioning systems (GPS)-capable and supports most GPS receivers, allowing users to track their progress on the map.
“With these three new Automap products, we are approaching mapping from an entirely new direction,”
said Ian Mercer, geo product unit manager at Microsoft.
“Until now, all the products on the market have primarily been maps on CD-ROM. But by listening closely to our customers and using Microsoft’s extensive design and usability expertise, we’ve built a whole new generation of mapping products. These products are more than just maps; they give users the tools and information they want to make their maps work for them.”
New Features and Enhanced Integration
Because Automap Streets Plus and Automap Trip Planner use the same map data source, the products are tightly integrated, so users can switch between them easily to coordinate trip planning. For example, travelers can plan a trip from New York to Miami with Trip Planner, and then pinpoint specific addresses in Miami with Streets Plus. Or travelers can identify a health resort in Streets Plus, Deluxe Edition and then plan the route to get there using Trip Planner.
The new Pushpins feature allows users to customize their maps easily with relevant information. Pushpins can hold text, graphics, addresses of clients and friends, additional Web sites and more, and they can be added directly to the maps.
Travelers with Internet access can also find useful, current information such as weather, traffic and construction updates by using the integrated Internet links in all the Automap products.
More Than Just Street Maps
Streets Plus provides new seamless maps, with more than 6 million miles of streets for all 50 states. Customers can pinpoint virtually any street address, city, town or ZIP Code® in seconds. With details on nearly 300,000 hotels and restaurants, travelers can use Streets Plus to search for a place to eat or stay within a given radius – from a half-mile to 50 miles – and then make an online hotel booking with a link to the new Microsoft Expedia
travel service, scheduled to be available this fall.
Streets Plus features advanced Internet integration, taking Internet users directly from the map to current information on 425 cities and places in the United States. All of the Web sites are carefully selected by the editors of Automap and include the kinds of local, current information about a place that travelers need – weather, traffic, construction and tourist suggestions.
The Deluxe Edition of Streets Plus includes all the benefits of Streets Plus as well as the best-selling American Yellow Pages by American Business Information on CD-ROM. This includes more than 14 million business listings that can be added to the map. For example, a user could create a personalized map of New York City and populate it with the business names, addresses and phone numbers of all the toy stores listed in the Yellow Pages.
Plan the Best Trips
Whether travelers are thinking about a family vacation or a weekend getaway, Automap Trip Planner, the newest version of Automap Road Atlas, helps them plan the best route and find fascinating points of interest along the way in the United States, Canada and Mexico. From national parks to amusement parks, users can customize their travel plans to include the things they want to do and see. With Automap Trip Planner, travelers have access to more than 1 million miles of roads.
Trip Planner’s improved Route Wizard helps even a novice plan a road trip. Using a simple step-by-step process, users tell the Route Wizard where to stop along the way – and then tell Route Wizard to choose the quickest, shortest or most scenic route – to design a trip tailored to individual driving preferences. The Route Wizard provides a customized map of the trip and a complete travel itinerary, including all the points of interest selected.
Trip Planner is great for families. It includes more than 5,000 Kid Picks – activities and places recommended especially for children. Using Kid Picks, parents can easily find fun and educational activities for their kids, such as the Ostrich Festival in Arizona, the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia or the New Jersey State Aquarium.
Editors of Automap worked closely with Moon Publications, one of the country’s leading travel publishers, to provide additional travel and destination information. Using Moon’s extensive network of local travel writers, Microsoft has created engaging travel articles about the people, customs, cultures and history of the places that users want to visit.
For travelers looking for a suggestion, Trip Planner offers more than 90 Classic Drives, prepackaged guided tours that users can incorporate into their own travel plans. Each Classic Drive includes background information about the trip, detailed maps, a driving itinerary and points of interest along the way. Users can explore the country like never before with a tour of the California redwood coast, the Anasazi pueblos of the Southwest or even an outlet shopping tour of northern New England.
With Trip Planner, consumers can browse more than 2,500 scenic photos. In addition, the product features amazing 360-degree Panoramic Views. For example, seeing the Grand Canyon in 360 degrees is almost like being there. Regional music clips throughout the product give an added sense of the places to visit around North America.
Trip Planner has information on more than 18,000 hotels and bed-and-breakfast listings. (Internet users can book hotels online through the new Microsoft Expedia travel service, scheduled to be available in fall 1996.) Also within Trip Planner are 14,000 points of interest, including national parks, amusement parks, natural wonders, aquariums, festivals, factory tours, outlet malls and museums.
Plus, Automap Online offers even more up-to-date information on 500 cities and other destinations throughout North America. In addition, these destinations can be accessed on the Internet with Automap Online directly from the Trip Planner CD-ROM.
Pricing, Availability and System Requirements
Microsoft Automap Streets Plus is available now for approximately $49.95. Automap Streets Plus, Deluxe Edition is available now for approximately $69.95. All licensed users of Microsoft Automap Streets qualify for a $10 (U.S.) or $15 (Canadian) rebate offered in the box for the Standard or Deluxe Edition.
Microsoft Automap Trip Planner is scheduled to be available in late October 1996 for approximately $39.95. All licensed users of Microsoft Automap Road Atlas and licensed users of any mapping product qualify for a $15 (U.S.) or $20 (Canadian) rebate offered in the box.
All products require the following components:
A multimedia PC with a 486DX/33 or higher processor
The Microsoft Windows® 95 or Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 or later operating system
8 MB of RAM for Windows 95; 16 MB of RAM for Windows NT
15 MB of hard disk space for Automap Streets Plus; 29 MB for Automap Streets Plus, Deluxe Edition (including 15 MB for Automap Streets Plus and 14 MB for American Yellow Pages); 15 MB for Automap Trip Planner
Super VGA, 256-color video display
Double-speed or faster CD-ROM drive
Sound card and speakers or headphones (recommended for Trip Planner)
Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
Internet access and modem to use Automap Online; may require payment of a separate fee to an Internet service provider
GPS PCMCIA receiver for GPS functionality
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) 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, Automap, Expedia, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
American Yellow Pages is a trademark of American Business Information Inc.
ZIP Code is a registered trademark of the United States Postal Service.
For online product information:
Microsoft Automap Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/automap/
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.