MSN MapPoint Offers a Better Alternative to MapQuest With a .NET Future

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 24, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of MSN® MapPoint™ through the MSN network of Internet services. Built on the MapPoint .NET Platform, MSN MapPoint expands Microsofts suite of popular mapping software and represents the beginning of MapPoint technologys migration to Microsoft® .NET Web Services.

Until now, most Internet users have only had access to maps and location information through AOL MapQuest, which also provides online maps to Yahoo! With the release of MSN MapPoint, Web users will now have a choice. MSN continues to be more useful every day for customers on the Web by delivering high-quality maps, driving directions and points of interest to meet users preferences.

“The addition of MapPoint technology to MSN further demonstrates our ability to raise the bar in giving consumers a more useful Internet experience,”
said Parul Shah, product manager at MSN.
“MSN MapPoint is another example of Microsoft technology delivering features that consumers want, including door-to-door driving directions and access to maps from around the world.”

Users Experience Continuous Innovation in Charting the Globe

Microsofts experience with mapping technology and use of expert cartographers help empower people with location-intelligent solutions that contribute to the evolution of the art of mapping. Microsoft works with a variety of recognized information providers to stitch together accurate, up-to-date and routable maps for the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. These are layered atop a world atlas rich with searchable data to enable users to explore the globe.

Unlike other online mapping programs, the fast performance of MSN MapPoint enables users to quickly zoom in, pan and resize maps to meet their preferences without time being wasted by screen page refreshing. In addition, to make driving easier, directions and maps are printer-friendly so printouts are consistently clear and free of advertising clutter or awkward spacing.

Smart Technology Empowers People With Location-Intelligent Solutions

The flexibility of the MapPoint .NET Platform enables the Carpoint® online automotive service and the HomeAdvisor™
online home and real-estate buying guide to provide proximity searches, determine the best routes, calculate driving directions and print easy-to-read maps. Carpoint delivers real-time traffic updates, offers driving directions and even finds the cheapest gas prices in the users geographic area. HomeAdvisor delivers details about neighborhoods and driving directions that direct prospective buyers to property listings in areas of interest. MSN MapPoint also will feature automated driving directions by telephone so users always have access.

MSN MapPoint is available for free (connect-time charges may apply) to anyone and can be located at or from the Maps & Directions link off MSN ( ).

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 270 million unique users worldwide per month. Available in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, MSN, MapPoint, Carpoint and HomeAdvisor are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual products and services mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information on MSN MapPoint:

If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsofts corporate information pages.

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