Microsoft Automap Streets Plus Preferred 2-to-1 in New Study

REDMOND, Wash., June 11, 1997 — A recent nationwide study conducted by the independent market research firm Burke Inc. put street-level mapping software to the test for accuracy and ease of use by consumers. Business people whose jobs depend on finding addresses quickly and efficiently were chosen as the benchmark. Users who were new to mapping software compared the Microsoft® Automap® Streets Plus version 5.0, Rand McNally’s StreetFinder 1997 and Delorme’s Street Atlas USA version 4.0 in hands-on trial sessions. The research determined that Microsoft Automap Streets Plus is more accurate and that study participants preferred it by a margin of 2-to-1. The study criteria included the ability to find and place a street address on the map, and overall ease of use.

“We’re thrilled with the results of this study,”
said Ian Mercer, Microsoft product unit manager.
“For the first time, we have tangible proof to share with consumers about why Microsoft Automap Streets Plus is better than the competition. Accuracy and ease of use are the two most important attributes consumers look for in street-level mapping software, and we’re proud to say that Automap Streets Plus provides both to consumers better than either of our main competitors.”

Study participants were selected from businesses that depend on their employees’ ability to find an address quickly and efficiently, such as delivery drivers from florist shops, restaurants, courier services, construction offices and car services. Participants conducted key tasks such as finding cities and towns, locating addresses, placing a marker on the map, and reviewing printed maps on all three software products. Researchers asked participants to rate the products in 10 attributes, including accuracy and ease of use.

“I deliver an average of 50 bouquets a day, and accuracy is an absolute necessity for my business,”
said Cliff Lamb-Rosas, manager of Alexander’s of Daly City, in Daly City, Calif.
“Participating in the research showed me that street-level mapping software is an excellent tool for helping me increase efficiency and provide the best service to my customers.”

The independent tests were commissioned by Microsoft as part of its continual efforts to provide the best software for customers. Studies occurred in Cincinnati, Boston and San Francisco in April 1997 and involved 100 subjects.

“The results show a clear preference for Automap Streets Plus,”
said Thom Fry, senior account manager at Burke Marketing Research.
“Rand McNally’s StreetFinder and Delorme’s Street Atlas USA had neither the quantity nor the quality of addresses contained in Microsoft Automap Streets Plus.”

Microsoft Automap Streets Plus is available now for approximately $49.95. Automap Streets Plus, Deluxe Edition, which includes the American Yellow Pages
CD-ROM, is available now for approximately $69.95. Licensed users of Microsoft Automap Streets in the United States and Canada qualify for a $10 (U.S.) or $15 (Canadian) rebate offered in the box for the Standard

or Deluxe edition (offer expires Sept. 30, 1997). Automap Trip Planner, a companion product for planning road trips, is also available for approximately $39.95.

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 and Automap 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.

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

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