Multimap bought by Microsoft

Microsoft has significantly bolstered in online mapping capability with the purchase of UK-based specialist Multimap.

The deal – signed for an undisclosed fee – will place Miultimap alongside Microsoft’s other mapping platforms such as Virtual Earth and Live Search in the technology giant’s Online Services Group.

Microsoft is expected to use the deal to boost its online search tools as well as the ability to share technology between the two providers.

Multimap has grown significantly in recent years both as a consumer facing product and tool for businesses to integrate into their own sites.

There are currently around 1,200 websites using its “enterprise” service for full mapping functionality, predominantly in the UK.

Microsoft OSG general manger Sharon Baylay said: “The addition of Multimap enhances Microsoft’s position as a leading provider of mapping and location platform services.

“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 UK and globally.”

The acquisition coincides with a major focus switching to online mapping services in recent years. Google Maps is now the leading travel-related website in the UK, according to Hitwise figures for October 2007.

Multimap chief executive Jeff Kelisky said: “Partnering with Microsoft gives us a world of new opportunities to build our mapping services into new technologies and applications.

“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.”

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