Why OptimoRoute Is the Best Replacement for Microsoft Streets & Trips
September 2, 2022
You’ve probably suffered the disappointment of your favorite store or restaurant closing down at some point. Maybe it was your favorite place to shop for your clothes or the best place to pick up food with your friends before the big game. Once they closed down, it wasn’t so easy to just switch to another shop or restaurant you liked. You had to find a replacement for a key part of your regular routine, one that had become almost second nature.
Many delivery teams were left in the same position when Microsoft discontinued Streets & Trips in 2014. They needed alternative options for route mapping software to find and plan the fastest routes for their drivers.
If this situation sounds familiar, and you’re still looking for the best Microsoft Streets & Trips replacement, we’ve got you covered. OptimoRoute’s software can help you achieve even better route planning than Streets & Tips, with real-time tracking, workload balancing, and automatic route optimization based on your business needs.
Jump ahead to the section that most interests you:
- What Was Microsoft Streets & Trips?
- Is Microsoft Streets & Trips Still Available?
- How Streets & Trips Worked
- Who Used Streets & Trips?
- 5 Features That Make OptimoRoute The Best Microsoft Streets & Trips Alternative
- Microsoft Streets & Trips FAQ
What Was Microsoft Streets & Trips?
Microsoft Streets & Trips was a computer program that could map out multi-stop routes between businesses, stores, restaurants, and other places of interest. The program was originally developed by NextBase Limited, a UK-based company, in 1989 and was known as AutoRoute. Microsoft bought NextBase and the AutoRoute program in 1994, so they could continue developing the software. Eventually, it was rebranded as Streets & Trips in 2000. Unlike MapQuest, which launched in 1996 as a web mapping service, Streets & Trips was developed for offline use.
Microsoft released updates and new versions annually, continuing to update the maps and capabilities of Streets & Trips. Eventually, the program contained more than six million miles of maps for users to navigate with. Whether it was a family road trip or an easier commute to the office, they could plan out the best route to take using the software.
From its earliest versions, Microsoft Streets & Trips provided features like door-to-door directions, points of interest along routes, and surveys for restaurant reviews. By the time it was last updated, Streets & Trips had grown into an even more customizable, user-friendly tool for planning optimized routes between multiple stops.
Is Microsoft Streets & Trips Still Available?
No — Microsoft discontinued Streets & Trips in 2014, along with its broader category of Microsoft MapPoint technology, and stopped supporting Streets & Trips in 2015. They discontinued the tool in favor of Bing Maps, Microsoft’s online web mapping service. The move reflected a larger shift toward online mapping and navigational tools rather than an offline route planner.
Streets & Trips hasn’t been updated since 2015, and plenty of new roads and highways have been built since then. In the U.S. alone, about $565.55 billion was spent on new highway and street construction between 2015 and 2020. The maps available on Streets & Trips won’t be accurate to what you’d find in the real world anymore and may not get you to your destination. Delivery team members looking for up-to-date software must explore alternative route management and optimization options instead.
How Streets & Trips Worked
Streets & Trips was developed as an offline mapping tool for “point-to-point navigation.” It was primarily used on a computer or laptop to map out the best route between two or more locations, but later versions included added functionality as well.
Some of Streets & Trips’ most helpful features included:
- GPS with voice-prompted directions: Microsoft introduced this feature in the 2006 version, giving drivers hands-free, turn-by-turn directions.
- Automatic rerouting: Introduced in 2008, Streets & Trips could catch when drivers made a wrong turn and direct them back toward their destination.
- Traffic updates: Drivers were given updates on traffic flow, construction, and other incidents for more efficient route planning. This was also released in the 2008 version.
- Pushpins: Users could pin locations or points of interest to their maps to personalize routes and directions. In the 2013 version, they had the option of turning pushpin names on or off for easier trip planning.
- Online ratings and reviews: One of the features that made for a more tailored trip planning experience, Microsoft introduced more robust review capabilities in 2013.
Although certain features integrated with MSN Direct and Live Search Maps, Streets & Trips was primarily an offline tool. Users could access information like traffic and weather updates or directions to the nearest gas station without being connected to the internet. But they couldn’t receive true, real-time updates because of the software’s offline nature. Businesses trying to track deliveries or make adjustments to drivers’ routes were limited in what they could do.
Who Used Streets & Trips?
Because of its accessible price point, both consumers and businesses used Streets & Trips as a navigation solution. Commuters used it to avoid traffic on their way to work, and families would plan long road trips, plotting out ATMs, hotels, gas stations, and points of interest in advance. On the business side, both delivery teams and sales teams used Streets & Trips to plan their routes to customers. Field sales reps used it for territory mapping and planning out sales routes when visiting new customers. Delivery companies would plan the fastest routes to drop off their packages.
5 Features That Make OptimoRoute the Best Microsoft Streets & Trips Alternative
If you’re looking for efficient route optimization software to replace Microsoft Streets & Trips, OptimoRoute is the answer. Don’t rely on Google Maps to create routes for you. Our software easily maps out the fastest multi-stop routes for your delivery drivers while reducing time on the road, so you can make more deliveries and improve fuel efficiency.
Automatic route planning & optimization
You can balance priority scheduling, driver overtime, and delivery windows—all without any manual calculations. You no longer need to spend hours factoring in schedules, workloads, customer preferences, traffic, and timing. Instead, you can plan out routes for your delivery drivers incorporating all of those factors in just a few seconds.
With automated route planning, you’ll go beyond the basic navigation and plotting of Streets & Trips to truly optimize your full driver fleet. Produce delivery schedules weeks in advance so you can better manage your workforce and your vehicle fleet. Our software will even suggest the best days and times for running certain delivery routes, automatically scheduling them for the fastest windows based on traffic patterns. And with location-based route planning, you can assign drivers to geographic zones for even greater efficiency.
Real-time order tracking
Send your customers real-time status updates, tracking links, and delivery notifications for a seamless customer experience. You’ll improve customer satisfaction and reduce frustration by keeping them well-informed about when their package will arrive.
Real-time order tracking and live updates are already integrated into our tool. Customize your text updates using our template, and choose which information you want to include, like order ID and estimated time of arrival (ETA). They’ll receive a live tracking link, where they’ll be able to see updates and a countdown to their arrival time, so they know exactly when to expect their package.
Gain visibility into where your drivers are on the road and when they’re expected to complete deliveries so you can monitor for roadblocks and re-plan routes as needed.
ETAs are key to understanding and optimizing delivery routes, as well as providing accurate real-time updates to customers. If there are route delays or drivers fall behind schedule, you’ll need to re-plan so you can still get all your deliveries out. OptimoRoute gives you real-time visibility into driver location and ETA so you can adjust on the fly and keep your customers happy.
Proof of delivery & customer feedback
Collect proof of delivery and automatically request customer feedback to ensure your customers are getting the best experience possible. Our software allows drivers to easily collect customer signatures as well as photos and notes on who accepted the delivery. With strong documentation, you can respond quickly if customers call with any delivery issues after the fact.
Send out invites for customer feedback through email or text so you can gain fresh insight into your company’s reputation. Personalize survey questions or ask customers to leave comments and ratings. Then, view feedback and driver ratings through OptimoRoute’s analytics dashboard so you can uncover areas where your customer experience shines and where there’s room to improve.
Balance your drivers’ workloads to reduce costs, and allocate tasks based on driver skillsets to get the most efficiency out of your route planning. Plan routes based on either the minimum drivers needed or distribute deliveries evenly among them. Our route planning tool can also automatically balance by working hours or number of orders per driver to reduce strain on drivers while lowering payroll costs.
You can also plan delivery routes or tasks based on drivers’ skillsets. Automatically assign delivery tasks to drivers with the skills to handle them, such as assembling furniture, for the most efficient workload management. The tool’s flexible scheduling will automatically adjust route assignments and start times based on working hours, callouts, labor costs, and miles driven.
Looking for a better alternative to your route optimization software? OptimoRoute can help you scale quickly while cutting down on delivery times and optimizing workloads for every driver. Learn about how one restaurant plans 500 deliveries in just five minutes. Or sign up for a free, 30-day trial to see how OptimoRoute can help improve routing for your business!
Microsoft Streets & Trips FAQ
What happened to Microsoft Streets & Trips?
Microsoft discontinued Streets & Trips in 2014 after they made the switch to Bing Maps. The software hasn’t been updated since 2015. If you’re still using Streets & Trips to plan your routes, you’re using outdated maps and navigational info, and you have no access to real-time traffic updates.
What will replace Microsoft Streets & Trips?
Customers will need to replace Microsoft Streets & Tips with other route mapping or navigation software. For consumers looking for basic navigation or GPS, tools like Waze or Google Maps can do the trick. But for businesses, they need something more robust and efficient for route planning.
Is OptimoRoute an alternative to Microsoft Streets & Trips?
OptimoRoute is the best alternative to Streets & Trips. The automated route planning and optimization are even more valuable than the basic navigational features offered in Streets & Trips. Delivery planners can gain access to efficient routes, driver scheduling, and real-time tracking in just a few seconds instead of spending hours combing over the best paths for their drivers.
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