Thursday, July 31, 2008

Microsoft: API for MSN Direct's send-to-GPS feature

Microsoft Corp. has released an open application programming interface (API) for the Send-to-GPS feature on its MSN Direct service.

This will enable any web site to offer visitors the ability to send addresses, business listings, or other locations directly from the site to a site visitor's GPS unit, according to Microsoft. The API is an extension of the MSN Direct feature initially launched at the International CES earlier this year, the company said. With this updated version, MSN Direct allows any Web site to send location information to navigation devices either wirelessly or via a USB connection.

The wireless delivery is compatible with MSN Direct-enabled devices that have the Send to GPS feature, including units from Garmin including the Nuvi 780, 880, 5000, 750, 760, or the Nuvi 2x5 series devices with the optional MSN Direct receiver. USB delivery is also compatible with the majority of other Garmin navigators, according to Microsoft.

"MSN Direct opens up opportunities for Web sites in a variety of areas -- real estate, travel, event planning and food service -- to make it fast and simple for visitors to have access to turn-by-turn directions on their navigation device," said Joe Coco, product unit manager of the MSN Direct initiative at Microsoft.

A number of MSN Direct partners, including Garmin and Alpine Electronics Inc., plan to ship or are already shipping GPS products that are compatible with the MSN Direct Send to GPS feature, the company said. For developers the API is free.



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