Microsoft Streets & Trips review: Microsoft Streets & Trips

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
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The Good Plots routes three times faster than last year's edition; makes it easy to put maps on the Web; interface lets you change routes with one mouse click.

The Bad Little detail on destinations; lacks vacation planning extras, such as links to motels' online reservation desks; no price break for upgrades.

The Bottom Line Microsoft Streets & Trips 2002 sports the best-looking maps and the most detailed driving instructions of any planner. Get it for sure but look elsewhere for vacation planning.

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If you're trying to find the best way from point A to point B, Microsoft's Streets & Trips 2002 should be your first and only stop. This top-notch map maker and route planner is three times faster than its slothlike predecessor and greatly enhances the way it puts maps on the Web. It still lags behind Rand McNally's TripMaker in vacation planning details and extras, but for $25 to $30 (after a $10 rebate), Streets costs about the same as TripMaker, and it's a bargain for small businesses, at-home workers, and folks who just want great maps and detailed driving directions.If you're trying to find the best way from point A to point B, Microsoft's Streets & Trips 2002 should be your first and only stop. This top-notch map maker and route planner is three times faster than its slothlike predecessor and greatly enhances the way it puts maps on the Web. It still lags behind Rand McNally's TripMaker in vacation planning details and extras, but for $25 to $30 (after a $10 rebate), Streets costs about the same as TripMaker, and it's a bargain for small businesses, at-home workers, and folks who just want great maps and detailed driving directions.

Same sweet interface
Streets & Trips' interface hasn't changed a whit, which is fine, since it's easy to understand. The three-pane look, which resembles Office apps, such as Outlook and PowerPoint, shows driving directions, a map with your route emblazoned in color, and any nearby attractions. A few new interface tools give Streets more flexibility and include views that emphasize roads, terrain, or political boundaries on any map. Unfortunately, some things never change; unlike every other app in Microsoft Office XP, Streets won't let you customize its toolbars.

Three times faster than before
Microsoft may not have tossed in a bunch of new features, but Streets & Trips indeed runs much faster than its predecessor. We ran versions 2001 and 2002 on the same Pentium II desktop and calculated the same six-stop route. Version 2002 plotted the trip and gave us directions in 5 seconds, compared to 2001's 15.5 seconds.

Streets does the dirty work
Planning a route in Streets is no problem--just enter starting and ending points and click the Get Directions button. The Optimize Stops feature, which debuted in 2001, lets you enter stop points in any order, then reorders those stops for the most efficient travel time and recalculates your directions. We created a trip from Eugene, Oregon; to Sioux Falls, South Dakota; with stops at Yellowstone; Denver; Mt. Rushmore; and Casper, Wyoming. Streets easily restructured the route for us.

Driving directions are first-rate as well and include subtle details such as "bear right onto ramp." Better still, Streets & Trips lets you update road conditions online and alter your map as necessary and remains top dog when it comes to modifying a route with ease. To change a route on an already-created map, simply click any segment, then drag and drop it to the new road or stopover. The program automatically updates directions and routing for the new course.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2004

Part Number: B1700087
MSRP: $39.95 Low Price: $31.99 See all prices

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  • Category reference / data source
  • Compatibility PC