Another end of an era is right around the corner, though attentive drivers could probably have seen this one coming. We're talking about the discontinuation of Microsoft's
MapPoint software. After 15 years of service, Microsoft said it's planning to fold up MapPoint for good on December 31, 2014, though you're welcome to purchase the U.S. or European version up until then.
In addition to MapPoint, Microsoft is also shuttering its AutoRoute and Streets & Trips software. Competition in this day and age of mobile devices where anyone can look up directions on Google Maps or Microsoft own Bing Maps may have ultimately limited the appeal of MapPoint and related software, though MapPoint is different in that it combines business data with demographics to help find and target potential customers. It's not really a consumer product, in other words. Nevertheless, Microsoft said it wasn't an easy decision to make.
"The success of these products would never had happened were it not for the loyal and supportive fans who purchased the product and its various iterations over the years," shares Larry Petersen, test lead for Microsoft Streets & Trips. "Speaking at RV rallies over the years, I’ve loved hearing about our avid customers’ experiences using the software to plan and enjoy road trips across North America. The feedback and enthusiasm from our users have helped make Microsoft travel planning software a leading solution for nearly twenty years."
Those who already own (or plan to purchase) any of the above mentioned products can continue to use them. Microsoft said it will provide online support for all three "until at least July 2015." For everyone else, naturally Microsoft recommends using Bing Maps online
or downloading the Bing Maps app
Business mapping software seems to be a dying breed, though at least one has weathered the storm. Caliper
, maker of Maptitude
, reached out to us with the claim that it's the "only value-priced desktop mapping software left standing" as all others have either jumped ship or scurried to the cloud.