Print Email If you are familiar with our blog, you'll know Microsoft Autoroute features heavily in our route planning and navigation. Last year I spent the best part of a day compiling and formatting a data set in Microsoft Excel for use with Autoroute. Over , lines of information were formatted as hyperlinks to take you direct to where the information was displayed online from several sources.
It has been downloaded more than 10, times - so at least I know I'm not alone. If you were one of them - please complete the poll at the bottom of this blog post and let me know if you'd download a version. However on the 31st December you will no longer be able to buy Microsoft Autoroute via the online Microsoft Store.
It also seems that all of the CD copies have dried up too and so if you want it you need to act fast, buy online and once downloaded ensure you backup the installation files as I'm not sure you'll be able to access them again. The feedback and enthusiasm from our users have helped make Microsoft travel planning software a leading solution for nearly twenty years.
The retirement of these products will not affect software already installed. If it was purely navigation you are after then I concede that there are better devices or software available to perform that task. However if you want to handle a lot of POI Point of Interest data from several sources in a single screen and have full control over those data sets there isn't really a piece of software which can deliver this in the same way.
I've always said that a 'Sat Nav' is great at telling you where you are going - but not so great at telling you where you are in relation to points of interest and I don't like the way in which high volume data is formatted and displayed on these devices.
In addition, how many times has your TomTom or Garmin deviated you off a main road just to 'cut off a corner'? Having a secondary map view means we have been able to avoid this.
It also means that the passenger doesn't have to mentally plot their position on a paper map - their exact position is displayed on screen. Take the way we travel for example, last year we drove to Slovenia which means a circa mile drive.
We drive as far as we can in a day and the distance is governed by weather, traffic and so forth and so forward planning is a bit pointless. In addition there isn't a great deal for a passenger and so it's a better use of time to plan while on the move. I'll probably turn to Sophie and say "I'd like to stop in the next 30 minutes" and instantly we can see the list of stopovers pooled from Camping Car Infos, Camper Contact and Bordatlas - plus where we have stayed before.
If we have an Internet connection which we always do, of course! The above would be fairly tricky although not impossible by any other means. Spain - Lots of POI information here.
The sad truth is this software has been a part of my life for almost 15 years. My father had it on his work computer and I was fascinated by zooming into places and seeing such detail and points of interest.
In my earlier career as a sales rep it was invaluable to help to plan my call file and when we started to explore Europe, it became an important part of our 'on the fly' navigation strategy. The availability of mobile data is perhaps one of the reasons why Autoroute has met its demise. The need for a 2GB offline map is not as essential as it once was and hopefully from the end of when the EU brings an end to roaming charges you should be able to use Google Maps or Bing as Microsoft would prefer anywhere in Europe without worrying about the cost of the data it uses.
So until then, what are the alternatives? However in order to download the Map Tiles and route them offline you need a piece of software which is also discontinued - Garmin nRoute. We covered some information about this when we were in Morocco which Microsoft Autoroute doesn't cover and it worked really well.
Where it falls down is the import of third party data sets. I will of course try and let you know the outcome. I don't want to sit here and implore you to download a soon to be obsolete Microsoft product or that you join me in mourning its passing.
But consider if upgrading is something you will consider or perhaps try the free trial below and see if you think it will help with your navigation. To download a free 14 day trial you can still do so here until the end of the month:
Until a few years ago certain consumer products from Microsoft used to have versions released every year, now some like Works are updated occasionally, others like Money are no more, here the version of AutoRoute. Buy Now It took 7 minutes to install from the DVD and used 2. This means that you can take your notebook with you on a car journey with the GPS locator and have all the benefit of a Satellite Navigation unit. This is ideal for those who only make one or two trips a year and otherwise do not need Sat Nav. The last time I saw a copy of AutoRoute was in January so just over three years ago and now it looks somewhat different.