Microsoft Releases MapPoint 2006 Mapping Solution for Businesses and Mobile Information Workers

New Enhancements Bring Business Data to Life With Maps and Optimize Business Travelers' Time Outside the Office

REDMOND, Wash., May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced the availability of MapPoint(R) 2006, an industry leader in business mapping software. MapPoint 2006 can help customers improve decision-making capabilities and increase new business opportunities through the use of maps and geographical information, enabling better analysis, visualization and communication of business information. It also enhances its usefulness for mobile information workers by adding rich new Global Positioning System (GPS) integration and driver guidance capabilities so that users can make the most out of time spent away from the office. MapPoint 2006 is available today, and comes in two offerings: a stand-alone software package as well as one that includes both the MapPoint 2006 software and a new GPS locator hardware kit.

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"The MapPoint desktop application has led the way in providing low-cost, versatile mapping solutions for customers in the office and on the go," said Thomas Bailey, director of marketing and engineering for the Virtual Earth business unit at Microsoft. "We're proud to release MapPoint 2006, and believe this updated offline offering is a testament to the flexibility and value of mapping technology as it extends into both business and consumer environments."

Benefits for Mobile Information Workers

Field workers, salespeople and frequent business travelers strive to maximize their time out of the office by streamlining their scheduling and by accessing maps, driving directions and point-of-interest information even when offline. New features delivered to the mobile worker include updated geographic data and a new GPS task pane that uses information from connected, compatible GPS devices to display current location, speed and traveling direction. Also, driving directions for Windows(R) XP users determine location from a connected GPS device and combine it with route information to deliver voice and text direction information. Wi-Fi positioning is also available through a computer's wireless network capabilities and the Microsoft(R) Location Finder, which accesses a database of known Wi-Fi access points to determine a user's location.

Customization and Integration With Business Applications

Businesses continue to improve decision-making by visualizing business data with geographic elements on maps. Also, developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) continue to benefit from MapPoint 2006's low-cost, high-quality maps; familiar development platform; and easy integration with Microsoft Office solutions. MapPoint 2006's demographic data refreshing capabilities will enable businesses to visualize up-to-date trends and combine business data with demographics to focus their marketing and better analyze results.

Pricing and Availability

MapPoint 2006 can be acquired through Microsoft resellers and Microsoft licensing programs and at http://shop.microsoft.com for an estimated retail price of $299 for the standard version, and $349 for the version with a GPS locator.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft, MapPoint, Virtual Earth and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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

CONTACT: pr.mspx./ /CONTACT: Sara Westerlund, +1-425-638-7000, or
Email Contact, or Rapid Response Team, +1-503-443-7070,
or Email Contact, both of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, for
Microsoft

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com//




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