REDMOND, Wash. — July 29, 2008 — Today Microsoft Corp. released an open application programming interface (API) for the MSN Direct Send to GPS feature for navigation devices. This allows any Web site to offer visitors the ability to send addresses, business listings, or other locations directly from the site to their GPS unit, eliminating the cumbersome step of re-entering or searching for the same information on their navigation device.
The API is an extension of the MSN Direct feature initially launched at International CES earlier this year. With this updated version, MSN Direct allows any Web site to send location information to navigation devices either wirelessly or via a USB connection. The wireless delivery is compatible with MSN Direct-enabled devices that have the Send to GPS feature, including several units from Garmin Ltd. such as the nüvi 780 and nüvi 880, along with nüvi 5000, nüvi 750, nüvi 760, or nüvi 2×5 series devices with the optional MSN Direct receiver. USB delivery is also compatible with the vast majority of remaining Garmin navigators.
“MSN Direct opens up opportunities for Web sites in a variety of areas — real estate, travel, event planning and food service — to make it fast and simple for visitors to have access to turn-by-turn directions on their navigation device,” said Joe Coco, product unit manager of the MSN Direct initiative at Microsoft. “MSN Direct helps consumers get the most out of their navigation device, while also helping businesses drive more customers to their locations.”
A number of MSN Direct partners, including Garmin and Alpine Electronics Inc., plan to ship or are already shipping GPS products that are compatible with the MSN Direct Send to GPS feature.
“As more and more consumers are using their PC to locate their desired destinations and then needing to find those exact locations on their GPS device, MSN Direct is making that process easier for our customers,” said Roger Jollis, Garmin’s director of OEM and mobile marketing. “Garmin was the first to offer MSN Direct on an automotive GPS, and we are pleased with MSN Direct’s newest innovation because it will be very helpful to our customers.”
For developers, the API is free, simple to integrate and uses standard Web programming techniques. In addition to latitude and longitude, Web sites can send a phone number, address, and other information. Developers can go to www.msndirect.com/developer for more information.
About MSN Direct
MSN Direct is a leading provider of location-based services delivering information such as traffic, gas prices, movie times, local events, weather and more to portable devices. Its navigation offering, MSN Direct, is available or will soon be available on GPS navigation systems from leading brands such as Garmin, Pioneer and Alpine. To learn more about MSN Direct, please visit http://www.msndirect.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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