Microsoft Corp. launched Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services. The updated version of the program combines the No. 1 best-selling travel and mapping software(1) for the United States and Canada, a sleek Global Positioning System (GPS) locator, and the inclusion of a new MSN Direct receiver, providing drivers with current traffic updates and competitive gas prices without needing an Internet connection.(2) Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services also integrates with Live Search Maps, allowing consumers to find up-to-date local information that can easily be saved to take on the road. This affordable full-navigation solution is a unique synergy of offerings that will keep drivers on track so they can travel with less stress while enabling them to save money by knowing what to expect along the way.

According to a new Consumer Federation of America report, the average price of a gallon of gas escalated from $1.12 to $2.72 (U.S.) between 1998 and 2007. Americans can only expect this trend to continue and are looking for help to be more economical and efficient when traveling. And when, according to ABC News, “220 million adults average an hour and a half a day in their cars,”(3) it becomes painfully obvious that driving is expensive and time consuming. This year Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services is packed full of useful tools to help consumers manage these concerning trends.

Traveling for the Budget Conscious

Road trips are a vacation tradition for many families, and despite increasing costs, Americans are still hitting the roads. Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services will arm consumers with all the tools they need to make the most out of their next road trip. Travelers will be able to easily locate and compare prices of nearby gas stations and plan their route accordingly to help them save even more money with the new MSN Direct gas feature. The program’s fuel consumption manager provides a cost estimate for the trip based on the car’s tank size and mileage per gallon and will alert travelers when it’s time to refuel. The new Automatic Re-routing feature will catch that inevitable wrong turn and get them back on track in no time.

“Whether you’re commuting across town or traveling cross-country, you want it to be a pleasant experience without the hassles of getting lost or stuck in traffic,” said Bobby Figueroa, director of product management for Local Search and Mapping Services at Microsoft. “Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services helps to relieve these common travel stresses by providing easy-to-use tools and updates through the MSN Direct service that will help save drivers time and money.”

Take the Guesswork out of Any Trip

When traveling, the last thing drivers want to encounter is an unexpected situation. Planning the trip ahead of time allows travelers to know what’s around each corner before getting behind the wheel. Through Connected Services, travelers can now plan their trip to route around congested traffic by utilizing current Traffic Updates information, which can save them precious time and fuel. Drivers will want to use the GPS navigation tools, which allow them to follow a color-coded route with an easy-to-see arrow so they immediately know what in direction they are heading on the map. Spoken directions also provide the added comfort of verbal driving guidance, an easy-to-use, hands-free solution that delivers precise, turn-by-turn directional information.

Customize Your Next Road Trip

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services helps families plan trips based on their preferences. The route planning feature, accompanied by accurate directions and 1.6 million up-to-date points of interest including gas stations, ATMs, hotels, restaurants and national parks, allows families to plan personalized routes, making sure to incorporate every stop they want to make. Integration with Live Search Maps allows consumers to explore with confidence and find the all the local businesses and services they need along the way. Also included are a variety of drawing and map annotation tools that will make it easy for travelers to personalize maps and directions with custom images, icons, text, lines, shapes, arrows, pushpins and more.

New Features and Information

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services offers the following new features:

— Traffic updates through MSN Direct will provide drivers with traffic
flow, construction and incident information from the road to help them
avoid unexpected delays. (Internet connection not needed.)(2)
— Gas information through MSN Direct helps drivers save time and money by
easily locating nearby gas stations and comparing their latest prices
without being connected to the Internet.(2)
— Automatic Re-routing helps drivers get back on track, even when they
miss a turn.
— Perspective map view gives drivers a view similar to what is seen
through the windshield of the car.

Additional features can be found at

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services is available now for an estimated retail price of $179.95 (U.S.). Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with GPS Locator is available for an estimated retail price of $99.95 (U.S.), and Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 (Standard) is available for an estimated retail price of $39.95 (U.S.).(4)