For years, Microsoft has supported its older MapPoint technology in addition to its online Bing Maps product, but that duality is coming to an end.
The company has posted a notice to its website that it plans to end work on MapPoint technologies, though online support will run through at least July 2015. MapPoint formed the heart of a number of products, most notably Streets & Trips. It is also available as a $299 software tool that integrates with Office, allowing companies to merge business and mapping data.
“The retirement of these products will not affect software already installed,” Microsoft said. “Current users may continue to use Microsoft AutoRoute, Microsoft Streets & Trips and Microsoft MapPoint to plan their travel adventures.”
Microsoft declined to comment beyond the posting on its website.
CEO Satya Nadella did indicate in yesterday’s mammoth missive to staff that the company would be re-evaluating products and processes that don’t make sense for the company’s future.
MapPoint’s origins date back to Britain in 1988 as part of a product launched by a company called NextBase. Microsoft acquired NextBase in 1994 and moved the team to the U.S. The product was really from a different era, when maps were stored on floppy disks, CD-ROMs and hard drives.
Clearly, maps have moved increasingly online, with Google Maps, Bing and Nokia’s Here among the leading players.