Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Microsoft folds new features into mapping service

Microsoft unveiled on Tuesday night enhancements to its Windows Live Local online mapping service, incorporating real-time traffic data, integration with Outlook's calendaring function and expanded scratch pad features.
Microsoft partnered with for traffic information, such as flow, incidents and construction, for 35 metro markets in the U.S. The mapping is now integrated with Outlook XP and Outlook 2003, allowing users to embed maps and driving directions in calendar events. It also adjusts starting times to reflect the expected travel time.
Microsoft has turned the limited scratch pad feature into a more extensive Personal Collections function by way of which users with a Microsoft Passport account can save their favorite local searches and other information. Users can insert links to outside content, such as photos or video, in the Personal Collections listings and then share the link to the collection with others via e-mail, instant messaging or via their MSN Spaces blog.


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