Microsoft has announced that they will be retiring their MapPoint Software, a Windows-only mapping and navigation software developed in 1999. This once-popular mapping program will likely go out with little fanfare, as Google Maps and Bing Maps have pretty much taken over the market of online mapping programs. AutoRoute and Streets & Trips will also be discontinued at the end of this year. According to Microsoft’s farewell page, they will continue online support of these programs until at least July 2015.
According to a farewell article from Microsoft, these programs–AutoRoute especially–were extremely popular during their peak, and it is estimated almost half of the computers in the UK were running a copy at one point.
“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 on their farewell page. “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.”
Microsoft then goes on to encourage customers to switch to Windows-owned Bing Maps, which uses a lot of the MapPoint and AutoRoute technology but lacks some of the analytics features. It seems like a pretty good trade if you’re looking into online mapping solutions, since online maps are generally a little more accurate and updated more frequently. But dedicated users (if there are any) should check out other options like Maptitude, which provides many of the same features as MapPoint.