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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent software, but has it lost it's niche?
Autoroute falls somewhere between web-based mapping tools and dedicated SatNav units, and can perform both functions competently. It can plan routes more flexibly than web-based tools, but it can do the SatNav part only if you have a compatible GPS (NMEA 2.0) device and a means of mounting your Windows-based laptop safely in your car - if so, then Autoroute can read you...
Published on 23 Feb 2010 by Peter

versus
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good companion, but not replacement, for Sat Nav technology
I've not used Autoroute for about 5 years, and have not used in the Sat Nav era, so I was interested in seeing whether it still has a place in our wireless era, and I think it still does.

Whilst Sat Nav's are great for getting you from A to B, they don't really help you plan what to do when you get there, or to help plan for stop-offs en-route. Autoroute can...
Published on 12 Mar 2010 by A. Kinson


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good companion, but not replacement, for Sat Nav technology, 12 Mar 2010
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I've not used Autoroute for about 5 years, and have not used in the Sat Nav era, so I was interested in seeing whether it still has a place in our wireless era, and I think it still does.

Whilst Sat Nav's are great for getting you from A to B, they don't really help you plan what to do when you get there, or to help plan for stop-offs en-route. Autoroute can help you plan your route in advance, including stop-off points / points of interest on the way, and covers 37 European countries.

Another benefit over Sat Nav's is the ability to work out the costs of your journey, and to work out times to reach your detination if you input lots of stop-off points.

The only negative that I have noticed is that there does not appear to be the facility to update the software and maps, meaning to keep up-to-date you will have to buy Autoroute 2011, 2012 etc.

So for me, Autoroute will work in tandem with my Sat Nav but is not versatile enough to replace it. For long journeys, and holidays, I will work out stop-off points and places of interest on arrival, by using Autoroute, plus taking a print out as a back-up in case of Sat Nav signal loss. I was impressed enough to also consider buying the USA version for when I go to the States (the US version is called Microsoft Streets & Trips).
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent software, but has it lost it's niche?, 23 Feb 2010
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Autoroute falls somewhere between web-based mapping tools and dedicated SatNav units, and can perform both functions competently. It can plan routes more flexibly than web-based tools, but it can do the SatNav part only if you have a compatible GPS (NMEA 2.0) device and a means of mounting your Windows-based laptop safely in your car - if so, then Autoroute can read you turn-by-turn directions.

The maps are stored locally on your PC or laptop, so you're not at the mercy of a dodgy internet connection to find your way about - particularly useful if you're travelling abroad. Virtually all of Europe is covered (everywhere from Estonia and westwards), although there are street-level address searches only for about half of the countries, and there is limited mapping of the road networks of Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Belarus, the Ukraine and Turkey are not covered.

Planning a route is straightforward. The Autoroute interface hasn't changed much in the last fifteen years, and it looks a little clunky compared with more modern software, but it's easy to plan routes with many stopping-off points. It seems to favour major roads more than Google Maps, although you can alter your preferences between quickest and shortest routes, and you can manually alter the route by dragging and dropping your route onto a different road. There are more options for planning a route than with web-based software, including multi-destination trips and scheduling stops en route.

Points of interest are useful, but a bit erratic - about half of my local restaurants don't appear on the list.

You can import pushpins (saved addresses) very easily from Excel - it does a pretty good job of working out what parts of the data are the name, address and postcode. I imported the hotspot list of a UK Wi-Fi provider - about 5,500 addresses - in less than two minutes, and more than 90% of the addresses loaded straight in without any bother. For the remainder, Autoroute lists the possible addresses and asks you to choose the best match. Once the addresses are loaded in, you can plan complex multi-stop routes to visit the locations very easily - great for small businesses or courier companies.

The downside is that the maps don't get updated, so new roads won't appear. Nor do you get satellite images - just the roadmaps. There is a link to Bing Maps, though, so you can view the satellite images there if you want. If you are using Autoroute in your car (on a Windows device that can be mounted safely in your car) there's a rather nice neon-green-on-black night vision version of the map. The terrain and political maps look identical to the roadmap view, as far as I can see.

Autoroute is a competent product with a long pedigree. I can't help wondering if it's niche is perhaps being eaten away by internet-based route planning software on one side and dedicated SatNavs on the other.

Notes:

- If you don't have a DVD drive on your computer, you have the option of downloading the program from a website (see the box for details). You'll still need the activation code from the retail pack.
- There is a version of Autoroute that has a GPS device bundled: Microsoft Autoroute Europe GPS 2010 (PC DVD).
- The system requirements don't mention Windows 7. The program works fine on that operating system.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars MS AUTOROUTE 2010, 24 Jun 2010
By 
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Very disappointed Used older version of Autoroute for years. New MS Windows 7 on new computer would not accept. Contacted TechGuys and after much searching they found an MS Forum which showed that there were known problems. The only way that one customer had been able to cure it was to shut down, open a new user account and reinstall and after use return to the initial user account ! This just not satisfactory !

You have refunded my cost on return of the goods (program). Sometimes it would be nice toi contact a human being who would accept responsibility at MS.

Frank AustingMicrosoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Autoroute 2010 well overdue, waiting for 2011, 29 April 2010
By 
A. Whiteley (England, France, Italy, Benelux. Take your pick) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
With Autoroute, as a professional driver away from home on mainland Europe for weeks at a time it is very very expensive to use online services . With Autoroute you can plan, adjust and see all of you delivery/collection points by just typing them in and rearranging them in to a sensible order. It is perfect for what it has been designed for. Satnavs have their place but when was the last time you tried planning several destinations in to a sat nav and then plan a sensible route with it. you can also zoom out to check out if it is a suitable route or even if you can cut out the hold up that is in front of you. You wouldn't expect a toaster to boil water or indeed a kettle to brown your bread so if you only go to once place at a time use a sat nav if you have a fat wallet use online services, if you have room in your cab to safely place your laptop and want to make planning as easy as possible get autoroute you can have your sat nav on your dash still . Autoroute 2010 well overdue... don't leave it so long next time
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars To Many Technical Problems, 20 Jun 2010
By 
Timo (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Purchased this item from Amazon in early June 2010, would not load onto my new Windows 7 computer, kept telling me that it was not loading part of the registry data so program could not run. Exchanged it for another copy thinking it might be corupt software but to no avail still the same problem. Have returned software to Amazon for a refund. Not a very happy bunny as I have used past Autoroute programs with no problem. In passing I would say that I have had excellent service from Amazon, Microsoft were a waste of time and very un-helpful !!!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank god it's back!, 29 Jun 2010
By 
Richard Saunders (West Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I use MS Autoroute almost exclusively in my motorhome, so that I can change my route on a whim, after all I am on holiday. When it seemed as if Autoroute was being discontinued I was inconsolable. But now it's back and pretty much as good as ever. Euro-maps cover a larger area than before. GPS positioning is good (unlike some where you seem to be following a route through fields, Autoroute stays on the road). Maps are as out of date as ever, but as a dedicated Autoroute user you learn to live with it. By and large I'm very pleased to see it back in production.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mapping and routing software, just not sure how relevant it is these days, 22 April 2010
By 
Mr. Graham Cummings (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Autoroute has always been an excellent choice for mapping and planning journeys, and you can use your GPS for driving directions. You can view your route in Bing Maps, and you can also send map and direction details to your mobile phone which is quite handy. The printed instructions it produces are really clear and of high quality. The quality of map display is also top notch. Labels and map contours are really clear. The user interface, whilst looking quite dated now, is very functional and easy to use. So the job it does, it does really well. If you install it on your laptop and use it with a GPS receiver you would have a Tomtom-like unit with a massive screen.

The problem I have with this software is why you would choose it over a free service (like Bing Maps from Microsoft or Google Maps (with Street View)) which are easily accessible from mobile devices such as the iPhone and other Smartphones, which can probably offer equally as good mapping tools. I just feel that Autoroute has lost it's relevance somewhat. Still, it's an excellent tool, and if you are to buy some mapping software, this one is highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Software, 8 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Having had the last two versions of this software, I expected somewhat more than this.
Very little change from the 2007 version. It states that you can now start any route from a set point such as home. This was available on the 2005 software. To date I have been unable to set this.
In my opinion, not worth upgrading to this version.
SAVE YOUR MONEY.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The daddy of route planning returns, 20 Feb 2010
By 
Z. Shamas "zshamas" (West Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With all the current mapping solutions available one has to ask the question is this really viable? Well Autoroute was the daddy of them all offering mapping solutions long before it was a twinkle in the eyes of Google and the likes. Back after a few years absence, Whilst perhaps not earth shattering improvements at first glance, many changes have taken place beneath the surface. Maps are provided via the excellent Navateq maps often offered in many trusted satNav solutions. Installation is painless enough as with all MS products.

The navigation view or "perspective view", which I find it more natural than the old style "2D" view which is similar to a slightly elevated birds eye type view. This feature can be enabled or more importantly disabled if you don't like it. A total of 37 countries offered equates to approx 5.1 million miles of navigable routes. Voice navigation has improved whilst previously it would simply say turn left in 200 metres it now will say more helpfully, turn left in 200 metres along with the road name. This feature can also be configured to exact requirements. A feature to note is despite many more countries having excellent street-level maps, it appears only the following 16 countries have the address find feature implemented: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland & United Kingdom.

The down side is that this can become outdated quite quickly (even over the course of the year the licence covers). Auto-route might be useful if you don't like or use google street maps etc. and have the use of a PC of some kind whilst travelling.The coverage of the maps is down to street level (limited in some countries) allowing easy navigation with marking of one way streets etc.Media is supplied on a single DVD, although Microsoft allow you to download all the content online and then just use your supplied key to activate it, should you not have access to a DVD (lets face it not all netbooks etc do). This would suit people who may not be able to rely on other mapping solutions due to them always needing to be connected. The practicality however as a navigation aid needing a rather more cumbersome PC of some kind might prove impractical for others.

Pros:
-Good value for money
-37 European coverage (down to street level)
-GPS ready (separately
-address find feature (16 countries only)
-clear detailed Navteq maps

Cons:
-Practicality compared to sat nav devices
-out dates quite quickly
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Covers 37 countries and works very well - but to update it you need to buy it 'every year', 20 May 2010
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Autoroute' was created in the late 1980s by UK company NextBase Ltd, and in 1994 the product was bought by Microsoft. This lastest European version, AutoRoute 2010, covers the whole of Europe, 37 countries in all. All countries get detail to street level, and sixteen countries, such as the UK, France, and Germany get 'address find capability', i.e. you can type in limited details of the street or area and Autoroute will find it on the map for you. In the 2010 edition you have updated maps for Eastern and Western Europe including over 5 million miles of navigable roads and motorways plus over a million points of interest [including post offices, pharmacies, restaurants, petrol stations, ATMs and more], there's a new 'intuitive user interface', you can identify one-way streets 'at a glance' and the software now comes with more than 300 unique 'pushpin images' to choose from ['pushpins' are like little notes you can stick on the map, e.g. 'pending delivery: item name']. In the US this software is called 'Streets and Trips' and comes with US maps. There's also a GPS version of AutoRoute Europe, that adds a hardware GPS locator to this software.

The software is pretty good, you can plan multiple trips in one go [e.g. lorry deliveries or a reps visits to cutomers), or say a drive from the UK to Italy, you can calculate mileage, times and costs, it can warn you if your petrol is running out, and it can work with a GPS locator [not supplied] to tell you exactly where you are. All things that Microsoft rightly state you can't get with the like of Google Maps. However you can get an adequate route planned for free with the likes of the AA and RAC on-line route planners, which will be fine for most home users [business's may require more]. Worse still for Autoroute, the supplied maps can be rather out of date, with new roads that have been around for a couple of years not being shown - particularly as the last version of Autoroute Europe was produced in 2006 [whereas the US 'Streets and Trips' generally gets a yearly overhaul]. Unfortunately the only way to update the road maps is to buy Autoroute Europe 2011 if and when it's released - strange, and bad news, that there's no 'free map update' service offered for the life of the software. Plus the software is quite expensive, almost the cost of a basic SatNav. This software has the advantage that 'no internet access is required' and it runs more speedily than on-line route planners, but then so do the in-car SatNavs. However those on the road full-time might find the off-line laptop info within AutoRoute Europe far more attractive than expensive 3G mobile internet charges.

So for many home users this software is more than likely not really worth buying now the internet and SatNav alternatives are so well developed [3*], but for small businesses, and the likes of travelling sales reps, the software could prove a very useful addition to the laptop or office PC [5*]. It is a nicely developed mature package, but has now become a rather niche product. The 'points of interest' of the places you pass through are useful, although I don't know how up to date the information is. You can download a fully functional 60 day trial version of the software from Microsoft to see if it offers what you are looking for.
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Microsoft  Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD)
Microsoft Autoroute Europe 2010 (PC DVD) by Microsoft Software (Windows 2003 Server / 7 / Server 2008 / Vista / XP)
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