Microsoft Streets & Trips Gets GPS Boost

With the help of Pharos Science and Applications, Microsoft has improved the GPS functionality in a new version of its travel and mapping software.

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007 With GPS Locator includes a new Pharos receiver, the SiRFstarIII, for mapping locations to GPS coordinates. The new GPS locator is 10 times more sensitive than the capability available in the previous version of Streets & Trips, according to Microsoft.

To use the new locator, customers can plug the GPS receiver included with the software into a notebook PC’s USB port to view maps and travel routes in real-time. If they want to use the locator wirelessly, they can purchase a Bluetooth dock or CompactFlash card adapter directly from Pharos that will allow them to do that, Microsoft said.

Streets & Trips not only maps routes for people traveling by car, but it also includes points of interest on the map such as gas stations, hotels, restaurants and national parks, in case travelers want to stop along the way.

In a press statement, Helen Chiang, a product manager at Microsoft, said better GPS capability in Streets & Trips will give users of the software more confidence that the journey they’ve mapped in the software is the correct one.

Pharos, in Torrance, Calif., sells GPS navigation tools and location-based services for mobile devices.

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007 With GPS Locator sells for US$129 in the United States, while the standard version of the software is available for $39.95.

-Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service (New York Bureau)

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