Shopping time for Microsoft: Multimap
After WebFives, Microsoft looks now for online maps with Multimap. It is a clear strategy for Microsoft to accelerate on the market of Internet technology, giving this way more power to its existing mapping services.
Microsoft says that this acquisition gives it a powerful new location and mapping technology to complement existing offerings such as Virtual Earth, Live Search, Windows Live services, MSN and the aQuantive advertising platform, with future integration potential for a range of other Microsoft products and platforms.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The addition of Multimap enhances Microsoft’s position as a leading provider of mapping and location platform services,” said Sharon Baylay, general manager of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. “This acquisition will play a significant role in the future growth of our search business and presents a huge opportunity to expand our platform business beyond the U.K. and globally. We are thrilled to welcome Multimap onboard.”
Multimap will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, as part of the Virtual Earth and Search teams in the Online Services Group. The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves as Microsoft seeks to expand its online services to deliver software, services, and premium content and applications to consumers and businesses.
Multimap is Europe’s most popular mapping website, offering a range of free, useful services to assist with everyday life. Key features include street-level maps of the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and a number of cities worldwide; road maps of the world; door-to-door travel directions; aerial photographs with map overlay; and local information. Multimap also provides a range of complementary services through its partners. These include hotel, holiday-cottage, and restaurant-booking services, and the ability to buy both historic and aerial photograph prints.
Since its launch in 1996, Multimap has become one of the 10 most-visited sites in the UK. The consumer website regularly receives more than 10 million unique users and delivers more than 190 million page views per month.
“Partnering with Microsoft gives us a world of new opportunities to build our mapping services into new technologies and applications,” said Jeff Kelisky, CEO of Multimap. “As one of the world’s foremost technology brands, Microsoft is in a position to bring even more value to the Multimap service and give people everywhere new, exciting and fun ways to get from point A to point B.”