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Microsoft Kills Off MapPoint and Streets and Trips In Favor of Bing Maps 174

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the 90s-time-warp-fixed dept.
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes Microsoft has killed off two of its mapping products, MapPoint and Streets & Trips. Both of these services have received their last update and will soon be retired in favor of Microsoft's premier mapping product, Bing Maps. The company has yet to go public with a press release announcing the retirement of these two mapping services, but the Redmond giant has quietly mentioned the fate on both the services' websites. MapPoint was first released back in 1999 and made it easier to view, edit, and integrate maps into software. Streets & Trips was a route planning package. Microsoft is now pushing Bing Maps exclusively.
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Microsoft Kills Off MapPoint and Streets and Trips In Favor of Bing Maps

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  • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:09AM (#47404979) Journal

    You never know when they will get killed. Same goes for Free Sharepoint, Free Office 365, Free One Drive etc. Get off them and breathe free.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      Same goes for commercial offerings - you never know when they get killed.

      I have yet to see anyone really using the map services Microsoft offers as primary source.

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        I never knew they had any.

        • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@ w o r f.net> on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:03AM (#47405195)

          I knew of Streets and Trips from way back when - it was one of the earliest available GPS packages that almost featured turn-by-turn.

          Way back when GPS was horrendously expensive.

          I didn't even know they still sold it - I suppose its advantage was it was offline and had everything or so in one box.

          Guess that's why they killed it - people remember it, but didn't realize it was still around - you certainly don't see it advertised anywhere.

          • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @04:22AM (#47405721) Journal

            HERE Maps (by Nokia) also work offline, at least on Win8 and WP8.

            • aka, NAVTEQ maps. At one point just about every online map provider was using their data, but have since moved away (Mapquest went to TomTom/Teleatlas and Google went in-house).
            • by unixisc (2429386)

              HERE Maps (by Nokia) also work offline, at least on Win8 and WP8.

              Until you do a search for a new address, as opposed to something you had already bookmarked

          • by peragrin (659227) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @06:23AM (#47405949)

            Actually last I looked my mothers job used it. it integrated into the rest of their software package so that addresses and route planning could be done easy.

            Not sure if they currently can use it but since bing maps like google maps requires internet connections probably not. Not every where they travel have 2G service let alone 3G.

            What gets me is why doesn't google or bing maps have an offline mode?Cache a couple of states or even just counties.

            • Actually last I looked my mothers job used it. it integrated into the rest of their software package so that addresses and route planning could be done easy.

              Not sure if they currently can use it but since bing maps like google maps requires internet connections probably not. Not every where they travel have 2G service let alone 3G.

              What gets me is why doesn't google or bing maps have an offline mode?Cache a couple of states or even just counties.

              they do... https://support.google.com/gmm... [google.com]

              • by tepples (727027)
                Offline maps are limited to 6 areas no bigger than some threshold. And in my experience on a Nexus 7 tablet, if you've restarted your device since the last time you looked at an offline map, you have to open the Google Maps app while connected to the Internet before you're allowed to look at offline maps again. Or what might I have done wrong?
            • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

              I have long been annoyed by google maps lack of offline mode on my tablet, as my tablet only has wifi and bluetooth for connectivity. Which is good 2G/3G is spotty where I live and 4G does not exist yet, this btw is right next to and within one of the top 300 US cities by population. I don't own a smart phone for the same reason. But get away from internet connectivity and google maps just stops working.

              • by fizzer06 (1500649)
                https://support.google.com/gmm... [google.com] View maps offline
                • I tried those instructions. First, I couldn't even download my entire county;* the error message was "Area too large, zoom in". Second, after I did manage to zoom in on a neighborhood, the resulting map said "Expires in 30 days".

                  * I said "county" and meant "county", not "country".

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    You might consider giving Garmin some money, then. They have a product with offline maps which apparently lets you buy map data and indeed basic functionality piecemeal. It's a dollar right now, but it's supposed to remain cheap. I guess they are or were also offering deals on content [androidpolice.com]. Linked article complains about spending a hundred bucks, but if that were lifetime that would be well worth it. The big problem with buying a Garmin GPS is that the hardware pretty well sucks unless you spend a lot, and your

            • by CODiNE (27417) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @03:31PM (#47409515) Homepage

              Surprised at all the responses with no mention of OpenStreetMap.

              Unlimited data download in various formats. Convert to Garmin/Tom Tom/whatever if you like and have custom GPS maps. Print PDF maps, wall maps, tour books, etc... Plenty of mobile apps to download entire cities and even countries with no time limits.

              The key point to remember is that OpenStreetMap is open DATA and there's hundreds of apps and projects built around it letting you do just about anything you can think of. Including several routing APIs and services.

          • by Bigbutt (65939) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @07:51AM (#47406199) Homepage Journal

            I have the 2004 version of Streets and Trips. I use it for mapping my motorcycle rides. Unlike google maps, I can set where I spend the night, start and stop times, how much gas cost, how often to stop, and even set weights for various aspects of my trips so it'll pick the optimum route for what I want to do (for instance, Beartooth Pass).

            And yea, I thought they stopped making it years ago. I'll have to snag the newest version. My 2004 version has worked just fine since I got it.

            [John]

          • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:39AM (#47406387) Homepage Journal

            Actually Streets and Trips has a lot of features that Google maps and I bet Bing maps lack for trip planning.
            For example you can tell it when you are going to leave, your MPG, fuel tank size, and how many hours you want to drive a day. Streets and Trips will suggest refueling points and stopping points.
            I wish the online maps "Google" would put those features in and allow you to push the trip to your mobile device.

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              I wish the online maps "Google" would put those features in and allow you to push the trip to your mobile device.

              It's such an obvious ad-selling feature, I'm surprised they don't. I mean, when you're planning your trip, it can suggest stop points based on ad sales. Perhaps there's a business having a lunch special, well, I'm sure Google will make sure to plan you a stop point right there.

              Ditto gas stations and other things along the trip.

              Even better, it can display a nice full screen ad on your phone when y

              • STOP THINKING of new ways for them to cram ads down our throats! Please. You want to give them ideas?!?

              • by LWATCDR (28044)

                Yep I want to stop for the night at 7 pm where are the hotels you can stay at and here are some places to eat...

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Guess that's why they killed it - people remember it, but didn't realize it was still around - you certainly don't see it advertised anywhere.

            Well, there were really two reasons why it died. First, it required a windows machine to run, and until recently none of them have really been that nice to use in the car. You need a combination of battery life (in case you forget the charger, you won't be able to get another cheaply and you're depending on this thing, remember?) and form factor that just wasn't there. Second, even when it was brand new it was out of date, so why buy it new? If you bought one a year old you could get it for $20 with the GPS

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        yea but you can still use them well past the expiration date

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ruir (2709173)
        Microsoft has no whatsoever interest to contribute to a model that favours a business continuity plan, and quite by the contrary, has they have a monopolist position they have all the interest of breaking such a model to forcing all the believers to upgrade to new and shiniest toy. Despite this, they have lost the battle with Google, and all their twists and tales to promote bing have been pathetic, at least.
      • by Reziac (43301) *

        Perhaps more to the point,

        http://apps.microsoft.com/wind... [microsoft.com]

        tells us to "Get Windows 8.1 to run this app"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't use "online" applications. I'm quite happy to buy my software, but I'm not playing the subscription game or being tied to the internet.

      • by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:39AM (#47405093)

        I do keep paper maps as backups. They have the added benefit of not needing batteries.

        • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @02:30AM (#47405451) Homepage

          The question is how many people actually know how to read a paper map these days. I'll be it's damned few since they don't even teach it in school anymore, let alone how to use a compass.

          • by Bigbutt (65939) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @07:54AM (#47406211) Homepage Journal

            They taught map reading in school? How to read a compass? When/where was this? I learned it in Boy Scouts.

            Fortunately us Touring motorcycle riders tend to use paper maps. Unfortunately paper maps are difficult to come by. You have to be a member of AAA to get access to decent maps. Otherwise you're stuck with the Rest Area state maps. Not horrible, I've used them occasionally but they are pretty cheaply printed. Opening the map has it tear at the creases.

            [John]

            • by bobwoodard (92257)

              At our school, it was part of the JROTC program, but that was something like 30 years ago, so who knows what they're up to these days.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              You have to be a member of AAA to get access to decent maps. Otherwise you're stuck with the Rest Area state maps.

              AAA maps have gone downhill and many have just (in the last few months) been discontinued. All that's going to remain are overview maps. And their days are numbered as well, because paper maps just suck compared to digital in every way except availability.

            • by Mashiki (184564)

              They taught map reading in school? How to read a compass? When/where was this? I learned it in Boy Scouts.

              Yep. Well at least in the schools that I went to here in Canada. After all, we have more cows than people up here, and more unclaimed wilderness than cities.

            • They taught map reading in school?

              Yup! In 7th grade Geography class. The very first period we covered it started with how to properly unfold and fold it. Then we went on to the symbols and what they meant, etc etc. We also learned that all Interstate Highways that are North/South are odd numbers and East/West are even numbers so if you are in I40, you are heading either in an easterly or westerly direction and if you are on I55, north or south.

              Of course that moved on to other map types such as mercator projections, topography maps, and such

          • by Jahoda (2715225)
            I am 99% certain that any child who has played a video game can read a map. Perhaps they can use it to avoid your lawn.
    • by whoever57 (658626)

      You never know when they will get killed.

      But Streets and Trips is not free. It's still being killed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Are you fucking kidding me? I've have seen WAY more open source projects just wither away and die than I have any software, commercial or freeware, backed by an actual company. Just having access to the source code doesn't mean a thing.
      • He wasn't talking about source code. He was speaking about free (gratis, not libre) offers delivered by a commercial company.
    • by unixisc (2429386)

      You never know when they will get killed. Same goes for Free Sharepoint, Free Office 365, Free One Drive etc. Get off them and breathe free.

      Neither MapPoint nor 'Streets and Trips' were free. Both cost ~$20-30, IIRC. Ever since the advent of free online maps from Google, Bing, OpenStreetMaps, et al, it's doubtful that anybody would have paid real cash to buy something that was a more crippled version of those, sans features like location of major landmarks, updates & so on. End result is these products being canned. Only thing I'm surprised at is them being canned now - I'd have expected that to happen 10 years back.

      Incidentally, doe

  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:09AM (#47404981) Homepage Journal

    when they had Microsoft TerraServer running on those sweet DEC Alpha's [microsoft.com] back in 1998. Instead of launching a new and exciting mapping service, they just settled for a minor showcase for SQL Server 7 with a database greater than 1TB.

    Talk about a company with zero vision.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:23AM (#47405037)

      Because upper management there is only concerned with a project long enough to use it to jump to the next bigger project. And, bigger is not defined as more important. It's a project with more employees. When I jumped to Expedia very early in that company's history, it was a pleasure to work there. Importance of a project was based upon the number of customers and/or profit. The goal of making a good product and attracting and keeping customers was pounded into us constantly. At Microsoft, making a profit or making customers happy was never a goal of upper management. I never once heard any feedback from customers. At Expedia, we did constant A/B tests and were told exactly what worked and what didn't. That's how you make a better product.

      • by ruir (2709173)
        mod up this anon-my team picked up the system administration duties from another team, and everything was very fucked up, just to be nice. The priorities of the other team was just churning things to show the management and doing their little experiments on the side. Two years later, the stability of the service has been rock solid, however often in a while we still have to clean their rubbish when we point our guns to more obscure services.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Bing maps is a ghost town, and rightfully so
      I can get embed a LOT of google maps services (actually from two different google map services) for free, with plenty of neat features, and a JavaScript library of extras provided free from Google. OR
      I can go to Bing Maps and get NOTHING free, yes that's right FUCK ALL nothing. I can sign up for their expensive service and get their half-assed maps. Fuck Bing maps and their pathetic service, they are an almost-ran and will never be more.
  • by jpellino (202698) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:18AM (#47405029)
    Oh. Wait.
    • You know what was a really good Microsoft offering, for its time? Microsoft Dinosaurs. And I liked Encarta as well.

      The web has largely rendered those sorts of projects pointless from a corporate perspective, obviously. Plus I haven't used Windows as my main desktop OS for 13-14 years.. but still, I have fond memories of those two products.

      • by jpellino (202698)
        Still use "Dinosaurs". Kids make "life size" dinos or parts by using those diagrams with the scale human and blow them up on a projector to trace on huge art paper and paint / color / decorate. Tough finding a fridge big enough to put them on at home with the rest of the classroom art.
      • Annoyingly, it's not just Encarta. It's seemingly any offline reference title. Grolier's is paywalled to oblivion, Britannica gives the first two paragraphs, Simon & Schuster haven't sold a reference app in years, and Wikipedia is, well, Wikipedia.

        Now yes, the internet is how we get data around fastest, and even CDs were a de facto subscription since you'd buy a copy every year or two to stay current. I get that. Where plastic disc media had some usefulness to it was that, for K-12 schooling, it was eas

      • You know what was a really good Microsoft offering, for its time? Microsoft Dinosaurs. And I liked Encarta as well.

        Microsoft Dangerous Creatures for the life! Indeed, in general those multimedia CD-ROMs produced by Microsoft were very well executed.

  • by Chas (5144) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:00AM (#47405181) Homepage Journal

    She's not going to be happy about this. Not at all.

    Bing maps isn't even a poor second to S&T for route planning. Not even an "also ran".

    • Have you tried Nokia maps? They seem to be more detailed than Bing, and have a more mature navigation mode. They also work offline.

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:09AM (#47405223)

    I for one had never even heard of these products, and I don't think I've ever encountered a web site using it. All I see is Google Maps when sites need to do something with mapping.

    • I for one had never even heard of these products, and I don't think I've ever encountered a web site using it. All I see is Google Maps when sites need to do something with mapping.

      Well, duh. MapPoint and S&T was a plastic-disc software title, intended for end users to do stuff without an internet connection. See kids, in the days between the joys of attempting to re-fold a paper map and always-on, always-connected internet streamed maps, companies got all the street information together and sold a software release in a perpetual licensing format. People could then take their laptops and a serial (later USB and/or Bluetooth) GPS add-on and navigate with a laptop, without worrying about data plans, cellular outages, or getting stuck on a necessary phone call that brought into question one's allegiance to accurate navigation.

      In the case of MapPoint, routes and distances were mass queried and used in tandem with Access and Excel to make geographical and topological data useful in a business context.

      Websites are going to use Google maps (or yahoo/mapquest/bing, to a much lesser extent) because their APIs allow embedded maps nice and easily. For folks who need offline information, Google Maps was never intended to fill that space. Now, it seems, Delorme is the sole holdout for plastic disc mapping software.

      • Open Street Map is getting very good.

      • I for one had never even heard of these products, and I don't think I've ever encountered a web site using it. All I see is Google Maps when sites need to do something with mapping.

        Well, duh. MapPoint and S&T was a plastic-disc software title, intended for end users to do stuff without an internet connection. See kids, in the days between the joys of attempting to re-fold a paper map and always-on, always-connected internet streamed maps, companies got all the street information together and sold a soft

  • by C0L0PH0N (613595) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:26AM (#47405291)
    I am a retired computer guy, and an RVer. I've used Streets and Trips for the past three years, and have found it invaluable for RV travelling. What makes Streets and Trips work so well for travelers is that it is always there, whether you have Internet or not. And my experience even with a smart phone and hotspot capabilities, is that travellers do not always have access to the Internet. Which renders MS's "Bing" solution useless. And Streets and Trips on my laptop is connected to a printer, so printing out strip maps for the next day is easy. It makes it easy to create long trips, stop by stop, and save the whole route. I'm talking about several months and 10,000 miles of traveling here. I've tried using Google and Bing maps, but actually, the closest trip planning tool I've found that provides for long range planning and in any detail I want is actually Google Earth. But until Streets and Trips is dead, I will be using it. And it sounds like it should work for the next several years.
    • by Cyberax (705495)
      Just buy Sygic or something like it. It works offline as well.
      • by itsme1234 (199680)

        Sygic has TomTom (Tele Atlas, well in Top5, maybe Top3 players) maps and is currently on sale ($70 for "World" and about half that for North America or Europe or something like that).

        If you want desktop/Win 8 there is Here (Nokia) Maps (again, "top data") - free.

        There are multiple usable solutions based on Openstreetmaps (which has fantastic coverage in most parts of the world). Anroid has for example Be-on-road for "full navigation" and Mapswithme for simpler (but much faster) "map browsing" - both free.

        Ev

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      I think the problem is that they can't compete with the dedicated units. Garmins and Tomtoms are fairly cheap and fit nicely on the dashboard, and even they're losing market share (or redirecting their business) to built-in systems.
      • I think the problem is that they can't compete with the dedicated units. Garmins and Tomtoms are fairly cheap and fit nicely on the dashboard, and even they're losing market share (or redirecting their business) to built-in systems.

        Those units are fine for turn-by-turn directions... but there is more to the world of maps than turn-by-turn directions. They're completely useless for advance planning. Google and Bing are moderately useful for advance planning, but don't allow the level of customization that

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I think the problem is that they can't compete with the dedicated units. Garmins and Tomtoms are fairly cheap and fit nicely on the dashboard, and even they're losing market share (or redirecting their business) to built-in systems.

        Too bad Microsoft didn't have any synchronization between their automotive platform and streets and trips. If you could plot a route on your PC and then load it into your car (why isn't the key also a USB key?) then both Microsoft automotive bullshit and S&T might have received a boost.

    • by swb (14022)

      I won't knock what you're doing but I'm curious what you get out of it that you couldn't get out of a Rand McNally trucker's road atlas and a dedicated GPS.

      The dedicated GPS would give you turn-turn directions without any data service and the atlas would give you decent printed maps for most highway planning.

      As kids in the 70s we covered most of the Deep South and Eastern Seaboard in an RV with just a paper map. I don't remember us getting lost and we sure seemed to spend a lot of time off the beaten path.

      • I won't knock what you're doing but I'm curious what you get out of it that you couldn't get out of a Rand McNally trucker's road atlas and a dedicated GPS.

        The dedicated GPS would give you turn-turn directions without any data service and the atlas would give you decent printed maps for most highway planning.

        The GPS doesn't allow annotation, and the Rand McNally atlas is at too large a scale for much useful annotation. Annotations are useful for "this exit has y restaurant" and "that [exit|rest stop] has a

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      There's a handful of offline GPS packages for PC, Delorme [amazon.com] has one, Garmin used to have one but they still have two nav apps for iOS and Android that have offline map support (one exclusively, one with caching.)

      Streets and Trips will still work until the roads are too different from it to be useful any more, or you can't get it to run on some version of Windows any more. But it will become steadily less useful. I've bought S&T before, and it was outdated when I got it.

  • I've never really cared for it, in my area it could be taken for type of a cherry, but of little fact. Now MapPoint that is a search engine name. Google not forgotten with a name selected for what can only be called it's prime directive.

    Not forgotten is also the daughter of the mathematician who sued to have that word (Google) back in his memory, I'm sorry but it is a good site name). They did your Dad good, take solstice in that.

    The fact Google will control the world in a matter of years should add the che

    • Wrote :-

      :I don't like the word Bing .... I've never really cared for it

      Too right. It makes me think of Bing Crosby [wikimedia.org], the 1950's Brycreemed guy with jug-handle ears who sings that dreary "White Xmas" song on continuous loop in every shopping mall from about mid-October every year. Otherwise it reminds me of a silly children's board game (can't remember what it's called) where you have to shout "Bing!" or "Ping!" or something like that when you think you have won.

  • Garmin for the win (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SternisheFan (2529412) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @06:42AM (#47405999)
    I drive a cab in the metro NY City area, a dedicated GPS is the right tool for my job. GARMIN MV3590 LMT (Lifetime Maps/Traffic) is my reccomendation. I have no time to screw around with online maps and their inherent issues, I need to get where my fares need to be. AA quality, updated GPS does this.

    Crack open your wallet and spend $300 on this Garmin and you'll have noticed you have less problems, and the voice recognition software gets it right over 90% of the time.

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      I drive a cab in the metro NY City area, a dedicated GPS is the right tool for my job.

      How nice. I suppose you want to dictate what the rest of us used because your Garmin is handy for a NYC cabbie? Thanks for the input.

      • I drive a cab in the metro NY City area, a dedicated GPS is the right tool for my job.

        How nice. I suppose you want to dictate what the rest of us used because your Garmin is handy for a NYC cabbie? Thanks for the input.

        Just my advice, boyo. There's two good things about advice. It's free, and you don't have to take it.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I cracked open my wallet and spent $150 on a unit with lifetime traffic and maps. It was last year's. Might have been a good idea to spend another $50 and get a slightly more optioned one, but there it is. It's not even necessary to spend $300. Cheaper is better, because the units are still fairly fragile — especially around the cable connection. You don't want to be financially motivated to actually be sending units in for repair.

      • I had the cheaper $99 Nuvi at first, and yeah, the UPS connector broke at the circuit board from it gettin pulled on by the wire. I treat this one more carefully and try to never stress the wires, especially since the charger cord has an HD FM Traffic receiver built into it. Oh, and it has a regular glass screen, no gorilla glass, that did crack from a 2 foot fall to the concrete. Still works fine over a year later, it's if I look at it from the side the crack makes it look like there's another road.
  • MapPoint? Wasn't it the service that plotted a route between two cities in Norway by taking the long, two-day and over 1600 mile scenic route, instead of the more direct 500 mile trip it was if going the other way around?

    Well, yes it was! [upenn.edu]

  • Streets and trips was the one Microsoft product I still used. Guess there's no reason to have those last couple dual boot machines.

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