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MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF NEXTBASE; ADDS AWARD-WINNING INTERACTIVE MAPPING SOFTWARE TO MICROSOFT HOME LINE

 REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced it will acquire the assets of NextBase Limited, a leading interactive mapping and route-planning software company based in the United Kingdom. NextBase brings a strong brand presence in mapping softwares, with two products ranked No. 1 in their respective markets -- Automap in the United States and AutoRoute in Europe.
 "The internationally known mapping products developed by NextBase have already proven to be popular with customers in the United States and Europe and will complement Microsoft's existing line of home products," said Patty Stonesifer, vice president of the consumer division at Microsoft. "The company's comprehensive content and experience in map processing, combined with Microsoft's design and development expertise, will enrich our future products for business, home and mobile computing."
 NextBase produces PC-based mapping and route-planning software. In the United States, the company's products include Automap Road Atlas, a comprehensive route-planning program with detailed maps and road information for routes between points in North America, and Automap Pro, a professional route-planning application with increased database capabilities.
 Products for the European market include AutoRoute Express, an easy-to-use route-planning capability produced in 10 languages. Current maps cover the United Kingdom and Ireland, Germany, France, the Benelux countries, Italy, Scandinavia, Europe and the United States. AutoRoute Plus offers additional features to support the business user, and MapBase helps users create customized maps for presentation and analysis.
 NextBase products have won many industry awards, including the Computer Shopper 1992 Best Buy (Software) Readers' award, the Ziff-Davis 1992 European Software Excellence award, the 1993 ICP Million in One award and the prestigious 1993 Queens award for technological innovation. To date, NextBase has sold more than 400,000 copies of its products.
 NextBase was founded in 1987. The company has offices in Ashford, the United Kingdom and Paris, as well as a wholly owned subsidiary, Automap, Inc., located in Bellevue, Wash.
 Microsoft plans to incorporate Automap, AutoRoute and MapBase into the Microsoft(R) Home family shortly after the first of the year. The company also has plans to assume future product development and release upgraded versions on a regular basis.
 Microsoft Home comprises a broad range of consumer software products targeted at the rapidly expanding number of home software users. The Microsoft Home brand has been created in response to customer demand for a line of useful and enjoyable products for the home. Under the Microsoft Home brand, Microsoft offers software in the broad categories of kids, entertainment, general reference and home and business management.
 Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
 NOTE: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
 -0- 11/1/94
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in receiving Microsoft press releases by fax, please call 800-859-5915 within the U.S. or 201-333-0314 internationally./
 /CONTACT: Press Only: Suzanne Dennehy of Waggener Edstrom, 503-245-0905, for Microsoft/
 (MSFT)


CO: Microsoft Corp.; NextBase Ltd. ST: Washington IN: CPR SU: TNM

KL -- SE007 -- 9976 11/01/94 10:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 1, 1994
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