Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Microsoft With Innovation Award for GPS Enhancement to Its Trip Planning Software

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan recently selected Microsoft Corp. as the recipient of the 2006 Global Excellence in Product Innovation of the Year Award for its Streets & Trips with GPS Locator trip-planning software. The addition of the global positioning system (GPS) locator to the Streets & Trips software in 2005 was a significant enhancement that has brought users substantial additional benefits.

Currently, Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator includes the #1 best-selling travel and map software*. The standard version includes detailed maps of the United States and Canada, and over 1.8 million points of interest such as automatic teller machines, campgrounds, gas stations, hotels, museums, and restaurants.

"The latest version adds a GPS receiver that plugs into the universal serial bus (USB) port of a laptop computer," says Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Joerg Dittmer. "This enables Streets & Trips to provide real- time driving guidance, and additional helpful information such as driving speed, latitude and longitude, altitude, direction of travel, and a GPS trail showing the route taken."

Other new and enhanced features of the GPS-enhanced 2006 edition of Streets & Trips include Voice-Prompted Directions, easier-to-read maps/arrows/icons, Dynamic Turn View with rotatable maps, night view maps, enhanced Reroute from Here functionality, and also Snap Route Technology that allows the user to drag and drop a route on a map.

Streets & Trips helps motorists plan the most direct routes and easily gets them back on track after a detour from a planned route. The points of interest database helps motorists find services on the road with a minimum of deviation and delay. Free road construction and closure updates through the Internet allow motorists to minimize delays due to these causes, saving fuel as well as time.

The standard edition of Streets & Trips is available for an estimated retail price* of $39.99, while the GPS Locator version retails for approximately $129*.

"Although the price difference between the standard and GPS Locator versions seems substantial, the latter is much more affordable than a typical navigation system," notes Dittmer. "The GPS Locator version accounts for about 60 percent of Streets & Trip's total dollar sales, proving its popularity with motorists."

Overall, Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator is a superior product that has maintained its market-leading position through continuous improvement, not only in terms of annual updates of maps and points of interest, but also in terms of added features and capabilities.

Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to a company that has demonstrated global excellence in a given business function such as sales, marketing, customer service, technology innovation, product quality, supply chain management, or growth strategy. Leveraging best practices in the company to all global units is a major metric that Frost & Sullivan utilizes in its selection process.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics. For more information, visit http://www.frost.com .

     * Prices are U.S. estimated retail prices. Actual prices may vary.
       The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
       trademarks of their respective owners.
     * The NPD Group/NPD Techworld, March 1999-May 2006. Based on total U.S.
       retail sales.

     Contact:
     Stacie Jones
     210.247.2450
     Stacie.jones@frost.com

Source: Frost & Sullivan

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