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SpatialNews Press Release

Location-Based Information Can Be Turned Into Business Insight With Microsoft MapPoint 2002

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New Version Offers Updated Maps and Demographics, Better Represents Business Data Geographically, Allows Map Incorporation in Custom Solutions and Delivers Tighter Office XP Integration

REDMOND, Wash. - April 23, 2001 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft® MapPoint® 2002 North America, the latest version of its business-mapping and location-based data visualization software. The company is simultaneously announcing MapPoint 2002 Europe, which will cover most Western European countries and will be available in five European languages. Both versions will be available to customers by the end of May.

In addition to completely updated and expanded map content and demographic data, MapPoint 2002 offers key new features for end users and developers, including greater map customization, territory creation and display, an ActiveX® Control, a more comprehensive object model, improved support for Component Object Model (COM) Add-Ins, and tighter integration with Office XP.

"When making business decisions, location information is a key component," said Michael Graff, general manager of geography products for Microsoft. "With MapPoint 2002 up-to-date location and demographic data, our customers can chart, display and analyze their business information more effectively, enabling them to make more intelligent decisions about their businesses' past, current and future performance."

Up-to-Date Maps, Location and Demographic Information

Unlike traditional mapping applications, MapPoint 2002 offers users a complete combination of high-quality terrain, political data and roadway maps including over 6.4 million miles of routable streets and roads in North America and 4.8 million kilometers of roads and streets in the European editions. It also includes more than 70 measures of demographic data, address finding and multipoint routing functionality, as well as shaded-area mapping, all within a standard Microsoft Office family application. Microsoft creates and licenses the highest-quality spatial and demographic data available from leading vendors, including Geographic Data Technology, Navigation Technologies and Claritas Inc.

Customized Maps Better Represent Business Information

MapPoint 2002 gives users the ability to customize maps to better represent their business information. A new territories feature allows customers to use existing geographic regions -- such as census tracts, postal codes or counties -- to build their own mapping areas. For example, once a territory is created, customers can overlay information such as sales or customer data, so regional or territory performance information can be easily compared and analyzed. With the new Drivetime Zones analysis tool, built on Microsoft's patented routing technology, users can determine and visually display areas that can be reached by car from a given location within a specified time. For example, an event planner could use the Drivetime Zones feature to invite only those customers within a 15-minute drive of the facility. Pie charts and column charts can also be added to maps to highlight multiple demographic or other data variables, and custom icons and pushpins can be displayed on the maps to help communicate locations of customers, retail locations or other points of interest.

Greater Application Programmability Yields Custom Solutions

For developers, the new version of MapPoint includes an ActiveX Control, a more comprehensive object model and improved support for COM Add-Ins. These enhancements greatly expand the ability of corporate developers or independent software vendors to integrate MapPoint functionality within a broad range of their business applications and custom solutions. With the rich functionality possible with the ActiveX Control, developers can embed a fully functional MapPoint map within their application and integrate the maps to work with whatever location data that application is using.

"With this release, MapPoint has become a serious spatial information management tool," said David Sonnen, IDC senior consultant for Spatial Technologies. "New features and access to mapping functionality through ActiveX will make MapPoint a good productivity option for a large group of business users."

Integrate Maps Into Everyday Work

The tighter integration of MapPoint 2002 with Office XP enables customers to easily transform geographic data from Office applications - such as Word and Excel - into data-rich maps using MapPoint Office Add-Ins and Office XP's Smart Tag technology. Customers can incorporate maps into the work they do every day. Now users can map data - such as sales figures by region or customer locations - from Microsoft Excel, Access or the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client. They can embed MapPoint maps into reports, presentations and Web sites using Word, the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program and the FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool. They can also add maps to brochures and flyers with Publisher.

Pricing and Availability

MapPoint 2002 North America and Europe will be released to manufacturing on April 23 and will be generally available at the end of May. The product will be available from Microsoft resellers, Microsoft licensing programs and at at an estimated retail price of $249*. Current license holders of MapPoint 2000, MapPoint 2001 or Office XP (any suite) are eligible for a $50 (U.S.) or $75 (Canadian) rebate when they acquire MapPoint 2002. European pricing will be comparable but will vary per currency and is subject to currency exchange rate fluctuations. The ActiveX component may be licensed separately, with pricing to be released later this year.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") 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.

SpatialNews MapPoint 2001 Review

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