At 1:45 PM EDT / 10:45 AM PDT today, Microsoft will announce the availability of MapPoint 2004 business mapping software at the National Entrepreneurial Conference & Expo, hosted by the Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C.

The availability of MapPoint 2004 business mapping software addresses the growing need among businesses for an easy to use tool that will help them better understand their customers, locate new prospective customers, and increase productivity by visualizing and communicating business data more effectively.

· Increase productivity by visualizing and communicating business data more effectively: Better anticipate customer needs by sales territory; improve customer contact; optimize delivery routes; and track marketing efforts and resulting sales.

· Stay ahead of competitors by turning information into insight: Better understand customers; improve prospecting with the use of census data and consumer profile data baked into maps; import other strategic data; use MapPoint European Edition to analyze and manage business in Europe.

· Customize MapPoint to meet the needs of an organization: Easily integrate proprietary company data and technology for the unique needs of the company or industry.

· Integrate MapPoint into Everyday Office System Work: MapPoint 2004 enables users to seamlessly import data from Office applications such as Access, Excel or the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client, and easily copy, paste and embed maps into work they are doing in the PowerPoint® presentation graphics, Word or Publisher applications. MapPoint also enables users to geographically select information from maps that can be exported to Excel spreadsheets for further analysis or use. MapPoint smart tags recognize geographic information in the user’s office document, and a MapPoint button is added to the toolbar in the Office applications. These tools allow users to insert a map and driving directions easily, and create maps from their data without leaving the Office application.

· MapPoint enables mobility: MapPoint can be fully installed on Tablet PCs or laptop computers so mobile staff always have access; ships with Pocket Streets so MapPoint maps can be downloaded to Pocket PCs; and includes more than 1.4 million business listings so users can always Find Nearby Places like ATMs, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and more; and is also GPS compatible for tracking your real-time location.

For more information visit the MapPoint 2004 Virtual Press Room at

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