Microsoft Helps Summer Travelers Feel Good About Saying “Fill ‘er Up”

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 25, 2004 — A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline costs nearly US$2 across America, and the Energy Information Administration says not to expect a break before Labor Day. 1 Although the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) forecasts a three percent increase in leisure travel for the 2004 summer season, it has been concerned that the rising cost of gasoline could take its toll on summer travel plans. 2 These concerns are substantiated by a Gallup Poll that indicates 59 percent of Americans said gas prices will cause financial hardship for them this summer; more than half said it will cause them to drive less than they might otherwise. 3

With the help of new Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator and some gas-saving techniques, summer travelers can hit the road with confidence and rest assured the money spent filling up their gas tanks won’t be wasted. Comprehensive, customizable and current maps, turn-by-turn driving directions, advanced routing options, road construction updates, and more than 1.8 million points of interest mean less time getting to the destination and more time enjoying the getaway.

“Gas costs about 50 cents more a gallon now than just a year ago, so even fuel-efficient cars cost more than $20 to fill up,” said Danielle Damasius, product manager for Streets & Trips at Microsoft. “Most of us wouldn’t think to turn to technology to help save money on that summer road trip, but Streets & Trips 2005 includes ways to calculate fuel costs and a suite of tools to help travelers get the most out of their full tank.”

Drivers can use Streets & Trips 2005 to plan their trip, their way:

  • Fuel consumption can be easily managed by entering gas mileage, the size of the tank and at what point the driver would like to be prompted to stop for gas. Drivers can also calculate fuel costs by entering the current price of gas and generating a cost summary for the trip.

  • A personal driving profile makes it easy to for drivers customize travel by specifying the time of day they will be driving, how many stops they want to make, their average driving speed and their choice of road types. For each segment of the trip, drivers can select the quickest route via major highways and arterials, or they can choose the shortest route, which could take them on back roads and city streets.

Drivers can save on the next road trip by following some simple driving techniques. 4

  • Lay off the lead foot. Drivers can maximize mileage by accelerating and decelerating gently. Gunning the engine and hitting the brakes can reduce gas mileage by from 5 percent to 33 percent.

  • Kill the engine. Idling more than a few minutes costs more in gas than restarting the vehicle.

  • Stick to 60. U.S. Department of Energy statistics indicate every 5 miles an hour over 60 mph costs an extra dime per gallon used.

  • Set the cruise. Cruise control usually increases gas mileage, so maintaining a steady speed helps drivers get the most bang for their buck.

  • Keep in tune. Regular auto maintenance can keep from burning excess fuel; an out-of-tune car can burn 40 percent more than than a well-tuned one.

Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator includes the following new and updated features:

  • New! Plug and play GPS receiver. It’s easy to hit the road with GPS. After completing the simple download of Streets & Trips to their notebook PC and Pocket Streets to their mobile device, drivers can plug the included GPS receiver into their notebook PC’s USB port and view their travels in real time. They also can add real-time GPS to their Pocket PC or Smartphone with an expansion sled (sold separately).

  • New! Pocket Streets for Smartphone. Pocket Streets for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones is included in Streets & Trips 2005 at no extra charge.

  • Updated! Accurate mapping data for the United States and Canada. Streets & Trips 2005 includes more than 5.4 million miles of local, city and highway roads and more than 1.8 million points of interest. It includes comprehensive and current mapping data from leading providers of geographical information such as NAVTEQ, Geographic Data Technology Inc. and Woodall Publications Corp.

More information on Streets & Trips 2005 can be found at .


Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator is scheduled for availability now for an estimated retail price of $129 (U.S.). Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 (standard) is available now for an estimated retail price of $39.95 (U.S.).5 Microsoft Corp. offers a $10 (U.S.) mail-in rebate to qualified customers.

About Microsoft Home Retail Division

Microsoft Home Retail Division (HRD) is a leading publisher of home software for the PC. Celebrating Microsoft’s 20 years of delivering products that help consumers accomplish and enjoy everyday tasks, HRD brings consumers Microsoft Encarta, the industry’s best-selling encyclopedia brand; Microsoft Digital Image products, which combine advanced photo-editing features and unmatched organizational tools with unparalleled ease of use; Microsoft Money, easy-to-use personal finance management software; Streets & Trips, Microsoft’s all-in-one mapping solution with points of interest, routes, driving directions and Pocket PC compatibility in one value-priced software package; and Microsoft Works Suite, the best-selling 6 integrated home productivity software that offers six of the latest essential home software titles in one package for tremendous value. Used with the MSN network of Internet services, these products have a unique depth and mobility that allow users to take their PC experience even further. More information about the Home Retail Division product lineup is available at .

About Microsoft

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 The Boston Herald, Aug. 21, 2004

2 TIA Forecast, May 2004

3 USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll, May 2004

4 U.S. Department of Energy’s 2004 Fuel Efficiency Guide

5 Actual retail price may vary.

6 NPD TechworldSM, March 1993-May 2004, based on total U.S. retail sales

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