Want to Test Your Relationship? Take A Roadtrip

    Survey reveals that almost 60 per cent of Canadian drivers have argued
    while lost: Preplanning a key tactic to alleviate stress behind the wheel

    TORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Whether it's because they're running late,
getting lost at night, or driving in a new city, Canadian drivers are stressed
out. According to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, more than half of
Canadian respondents said getting lost has led to arguments in the car.
    But don't blame the old cliché - according to the same survey,
significantly more men than women (71% versus 44%) claim they do, in fact,
stop for directions, though nearly 20 per cent of respondents have fought with
their partner because they have run out of gas or took too many washroom
    "Roadtrips can really test a relationship," says Ellis Nicolson, a
Marriage and Family Therapist from Ellis Nicolson and Associates. "Unexpected
issues that pop up during travel can definitely cause the stress factors to
increase. The key to pain-free travel is to expect the unexpected and preplan
your routes and stops ahead of time. Trip planning software like Microsoft
Streets & Trips can make planning a trip easy and painless."
    A large number of Canadians reported increased stress levels in a variety
of situations: eight in ten (83%) say that arriving late for a function or
meeting is stressful; 73% say that being lost on the road during the night
time is stressful; and 63% indicate that driving in a new city is stressful.
Despite this, only 31 per cent of Canadians reported regularly planning their
    To help make driving a more pleasant experience, Canadian retailers today
are offering Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 Standard and Streets & Trips 2009
with GPS locator. Streets & Trips provides easy-to-use mapping solutions that
help drivers plan their trips ahead of time so that they are not lost, late or
stressed out.
    Microsoft has taken road planning to the next level with the launch of
Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009. It includes a Global Positioning System (GPS)
receiver that plugs into the Universal Serial Bus port on a PC. The updated
versions deliver the trip-planning and driving tools that consumers have come
to love and expect, along with several new and enhanced features to help
consumers save even more time and money while on the road.
    "Travel can be stressful enough without added pressures of backseat
drivers or getting lost," says Paolo Pasquini, Senior Public Relations Manager
for Microsoft Canada. "This is why Microsoft is providing Canadian drivers
with the tools they need to plan the perfect trip, helping them stay on track
and know what to expect at every turn."
    Fifty per cent of respondents indicated that running low on gas is yet
another major stress factor. To help address this concern, Streets & Trips
hosts more than 1.5 million points of interest including gas stations,
restaurants and parks so users can plan for important stops on the road. The
Find Nearby Places feature allows travelers to search a radius up to 50 miles
to find select points of interest and then provides detailed directions and
contact. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 also comes with a free trial
membership to Entertainment online, which provides travelers with special
savings at restaurants, hotels and special events.
    As well, Streets & Trips 2009 helps consumers find the most efficient
route and provides easy-to-use tools to calculate traveling expenses. Using
the car's tank size and mileage per gallon, along with the current price for
fuel users can use the fuel consumption manager in Microsoft Streets & Trips
to calculate a cost estimate for each trip.
    Additionally, Microsoft Streets & Trips is an easy way to get customized,
highly detailed driving directions including construction updates in both
Canada and the U.S. and road closures. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 will
then create routes that bypass such hang-ups to minimize frustrating delays
and unexpected stops.
    With 73 per cent of respondents indicating that night driving is
stressful, Street & Trips Night Map Style allows for enhanced views of maps
and directions which means easy reading when traveling at night or on dark
roads. Plus, with 8 in 10 (83 per cent) Canadians stressed out over being
late, automatic re-routing with the GPS version keeps consumers on track after
a wrong turn, which can decrease wasted gas and save consumers valuable time.
    Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 with GPS Locator is scheduled for
availability October, 27th 2008 for a suggested retail price of $59.95 CDN for
Streets &Trips 2009 and $99.95 CDN for Streets & Trips 2009 with GPS.

    About Microsoft Canada

    Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting
and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in
Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country
dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place
and on any device. Visit Microsoft Canada's web site at www.microsoft.ca.
    For more information about Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009, please visit:
    http://www.microsoft.com/Streets/en-us/default.aspx or

For further information:

For further information: Ashley Weld, High Road Communications, (416)
644-2298, aweld@highroad.com

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