Pharos Science & Applications Inc., the premier provider of portable GPS satellite navigation technology and location-based services, has announced a supply agreement with Microsoft Corp. Pharos will supply an advanced Global Positioning System receiver/antenna to be combined with the latest version of Microsoft’s best-selling mapping and travel planning software for the U.S. and Canada.

The new Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator gives laptop users a real-time GPS solution, as well as a comprehensive array of maps, driving directions, and points of interest, to help them make the most of their local or long-distance trips. By connecting the GPS receiver via a USB port on their notebook computers, consumers who use Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator can know exactly where they are and where they are headed at all times.

The unique modular design of the Pharos GPS receiver also allows users to connect via CompactFlash, PCMCIA slot, serial port or Bluetooth™ wireless capability, using optional accessories from Pharos.

The addition of the GPS receiver, and the new advanced GPS features, expands the utility of the Streets & Trips 2005 software, which also includes important and timely features for trip planning and fuel management – a valuable addition with the rising costs of gas. Enhanced GPS support, accurate and up-to-date mapping data, options for customization and Pocket Streets for Smartphone are also included at no additional cost. These tools allow consumers to plan a trip based on their specific preferences and needs, enabling them to spend more time enjoying their journey and less time stressing about the logistics.

“With digital maps, a vast points-of-interest library, intelligent route calculation and driving directions, Streets & Trips has been a beneficial resource for travelers and the top choice among consumers. Now, with Pharos’ advanced GPS receiver, based on SiRF/StarII-LP architecture, the Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator is an even more valuable tool for guiding Microsoft customers where they want to go,” notes Pharos President James Oyang, Ph.D.

“Until now, GPS tracking wasn’t affordable for everyone,” said Danielle Damasius, product manager for the Microsoft Streets & Trips product line. “This year’s version of Streets & Trips with GPS Locator gives people the benefits of GPS at a reasonable price, making it easy for everyone to hit the road with confidence.”

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS Locator is scheduled for availability in late August 2004 for an estimated retail price of $129 (U.S.). Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 (standard) will also be available in late August 2004 for an estimated retail price of $39.95 (U.S.).