PlanetEye Unveils Innovative Online Travel Planning Site Licensing Microsoft IP and Technology



    PlanetEye transforms how trips are researched, planned and booked

    TORONTO and REDMOND, Wash., July 10 /CNW/ - PlanetEye launched an
innovative online travel planning service today powered by Microsoft Corp.'s
groundbreaking technology World Wide Media eXchange (WWMX). The new site, at
http://www.planeteye.com, provides travelers the convenience of being able to
research, plan and book their next vacation.
    PlanetEye licensed intellectual property (IP) from Microsoft and
collaborated with the company's research and development teams, along with
Canadian entrepreneurs and two venture capitalists, to bring to market a
unique and comprehensive travel-planning service.
    "With gas prices making every travel dollar precious, a site that helps
you get the most out of that dollar would be invaluable," said Rob Enderle,
principal analyst for the Enderle Group. "PlanetEye pulls together advanced
social networking elements, contextual mapping and professional travel
information to create the most advanced travel planning tool I have ever
seen."
    One of PlanetEye's key features is an interactive and dynamic map,
powered by WWMX, whereby travelers can identify a destination and discover an
extensive amount of information such as geotagged photographs, hotels,
attractions and restaurants. For example, if a traveler selects five
attractions in Paris, PlanetEye can provide help in booking just the right
hotel by showing on the map the best and closest place to stay.
    With a growing number of in-house writers in cities around the world,
valuable content from a variety of sources, and key partnerships to book
flights, hotels, restaurants and events, PlanetEye is for travelers who want a
quick and easy way to plan their next adventure. PlanetEye also offers Travel
Packs, a unique feature allowing users to compile an online wish list of
travel destinations or scrapbook of experiences they would like to have while
traveling. A great way to coordinate travel plans, Travel Packs enable users
to organize their lists by specific themes or locations - and they can be kept
private or shared with friends, with family or with anyone on the Web.
    "PlanetEye wants to inspire travelers to explore and discover the world
online, and then make it easy for them to plan and book the best trip
possible," said Butch Langlois, PlanetEye's president and chief executive
officer. "We want travel planning to be easy and exciting, while minimizing
the number of Web sites needed to complete travel plans."
    Since 2003, Microsoft has been able to help bring great new technologies
to market, helping to develop new companies and new opportunities throughout
the world due to its unique approach to licensing IP.
    "Microsoft is committed to supporting technology start-ups because they
drive Canada's local software economy and can have a positive impact our
country's ability to innovate and become more prosperous," said Mark Relph,
Vice President, Developer & Platform Evangelism Group, Microsoft Canada. "The
launch of PlanetEye is a prime example of how the IP licensing program
connects the fruits of Microsoft Research with entrepreneurs like Butch who
create and bring to market innovative technologies like this next generation
travel guidebook."
    PlanetEye's beta site, which was initially open to all Microsoft
employees, has already won critical acclaim from the travel industry in Canada
and will soon be joining with travel industry leaders such as Travelocity to
help bring their innovative offering to a wider audience of travelers.
    PlanetEye - the company - has also received accolades that include
winning the Canadian Tourism Commission's Entrepreneur competition, as well as
being named as one of Canada's Hottest 20 Innovative Companies by the Canadian
Innovation Exchange.

    Microsoft's Commitment to Licensing Technology

    The licensing agreement is another example of the important role IP plays
in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its
IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than
500 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it
possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio.
The program was developed to open up access to Microsoft's significant
research and development investments and its growing, broad patent and IP
portfolio. It is also part of Microsoft's unique approach to IP licensing and
collaboration that includes the Microsoft IP Ventures program, started in
2005. More information about Microsoft's licensing programs is available at
http://www.microsoft.com/ip.

    About PlanetEye

    PlanetEye is an online travel-planning service for travelers looking to
easily and quickly research, organize and share their trips. Featuring more
than 70,000 geotagged photographs, leading-edge mapping technology and
extensive travel content, PlanetEye is where travelers can explore where to go
and what to do. With local experts at your disposal and a growing list of
respected travel sources, we provide valuable information so you can make
smart travel-planning decisions. More information about PlanetEye is available
at www.planeteye.com.

    About Microsoft

    Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.





For further information:

For further information: Press only: Stephanie Bell, Media Profile for
Microsoft Canada, (416) 342-1839, stephanie@mediaprofile.com; Erica
Zeidenberg, Blodgett Communications for PlanetEye, (925) 631-0553,
erica@blodgettcomm.com


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