TORONTO and REDMOND, Wash. — July 10, 2008 — PlanetEye launched an innovative online travel planning service today powered by Microsoft Corp.’s groundbreaking technology World Wide Media eXchange (WWMX). The new site, at http://www.planeteye.com, provides travelers with the convenience of being able to research, plan and book their next vacation.
PlanetEye licensed intellectual property (IP) from Microsoft and collaborated with the company’s research and development teams, along with Canadian entrepreneurs and two venture capitalists, to bring to market a unique and comprehensive travel-planning service for travelers.
“With gas prices making every travel dollar precious, a site that helps you get the most out of that dollar would be invaluable,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group. “PlanetEye pulls together advanced social networking elements, contextual mapping and professional travel information to create the most advanced travel planning tool I have ever seen.”
One of PlanetEye’s key features is an interactive and dynamic map, powered by WWMX, whereby travelers can identify a destination and discover an extensive amount of information such as geotagged photographs, hotels, attractions and restaurants. For example, if a traveler selects five attractions in Paris, PlanetEye can provide help in booking just the right hotel by showing on the map the best and closest place to stay.
With a growing number of in-house writers in cities around the world, valuable content from a variety of sources, and key partnerships to book flights, hotels, restaurants and events, PlanetEye is for travelers who want a quick and easy way to plan their next adventure. PlanetEye also offers Travel Packs, a unique feature allowing users to compile an online wish list of travel destinations or scrapbook of experiences they would like to have while traveling. A great way to coordinate travel plans, Travel Packs enable users to organize their lists by specific themes or locations — and they can be kept private or shared with friends, with family or with anyone on the Web.
“PlanetEye wants to inspire travelers to explore and discover the world online, and then make it easy for them to plan and book the best trip possible,” said Butch Langlois, PlanetEye’s president and chief executive officer. “We want travel planning to be easy and exciting, while minimizing the number of Web sites needed to complete travel plans.”
Since 2003, Microsoft has been able to help bring great new technologies to market, helping to develop new companies and new opportunities throughout the world due to its unique approach to licensing IP.
“Microsoft is committed to supporting technology startups in an effort to drive the software ecosystem and support innovation and prosperity,” said Bob Tenczar, director of marketing for the Intellectual Property Licensing Division at Microsoft. “We are very excited about this collaboration and the way PlanetEye adopted the technology developed at Microsoft Research and applied it to the online travel experience.”
PlanetEye’s beta site, which was initially open to all Microsoft employees, has already won critical acclaim from the travel industry in Canada. PlanetEye will soon be joining with travel industry leaders such as Travelocity to help bring its innovative offering to a wider audience of travelers.
As a company PlanetEye has also received accolades including winning the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Entrepreneur competition, as well as being named as one of Canada’s Hottest 20 Innovative Companies by the Canadian Innovation Exchange.
Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Technology
The licensing agreement is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 500 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open up access to Microsoft’s significant research and development investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. It is also part of Microsoft’s unique approach to IP licensing and collaboration that includes the Microsoft IP Ventures program, started in 2005. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/ip.
PlanetEye is an online travel-planning service for travellers looking to easily and quickly research, organize and share their trips. Featuring more than 70,000 geotagged photographs, leading-edge mapping technology and extensive travel content, PlanetEye is where travelers can explore where to go and what to do. With local experts at your disposal and a growing list of respected travel sources, we provide valuable information so you can make smart travel-planning decisions. More information about PlanetEye is available at www.planeteye.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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