Update on the Microsoft MapPoint 2003 End User License

By Joe Francica

On August 30th, Microsoft further clarified its position with MapPoint Alliance partners regarding the End User License Agreement for MapPoint 2003 and usage of the product for real-time or near real-time fleet management applications.The clarification was prompted by a change in the licensing agreement with Navigation Technologies (Navtech), a supplier of street centerline data and attribution to the MapPoint product.Michael Graff, General Manager of the MapPoint Business Unit, along with Rik Temmink, MapPoint Product Manager, and John Betz, Director of Product Planning & Business Development were on the conference call.

According to the new license agreement for MapPoint 2003, "fleet management" applies specifically to the routing, tracking or management of vehicles equipped with positioning technology (GPS or other technology, devices and/or sensors that allow applications to determine position) in real-time or near real-time.Real or near real time is further defined as an application that reports a position every 60 seconds or less, according to John Betz.The license agreement is limited to motor vehicles as well.For example, tracking people with cell phones with GPS equipment or anything that does not involve a vehicle is not considered a fleet application.

The agreement further calls for a limit of 50 licenses for applications developed with MapPoint. That is, either the number of users or vehicles tracked must not be more than 50.For example, five people using a tracking application for 25 vehicles requires 25 licenses.Likewise, two people tracking 50 vehicles require 50 licenses.The limit is per application or per fleet.If the user can demonstrate that two different fleets are using separate applications, this will not violate the new license.

Under the provisions of using MapPoint .NET, Microsoft's internet location service, its license stipulates that fleet management applications requires the permission of Microsoft.Microsoft wants to know about the application so that similar route guidance applications will not be implemented as per Navtech's restrictions.Navtech's position is simple.They have made a huge investment in data acquired for its in-vehicle navigation products and feel that its value would be undermined by large-scale development of fleet management applications that exceed an acceptable limit.

Microsoft stated that this was a provision in their license agreement that they did not want to do but felt they were compelled to do it because it was an issue with the data vendor.However, Microsoft believes that Navtech data was a superior value to users to warrant continued use of the product within MapPoint.

Published Wednesday, September 4th, 2002

Written by Joe Francica

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