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Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010 with GPS Locator
Marvin Hlavac
Streets & Trips 2010 with GPS Locator

I have had the above pre-release box of Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010 with GPS Locator since August, but even though the new 2010 version was launched by Microsoft on September 2nd, the version which includes the USB GPS dongle is still nowhere to be found.

As of today, September 11, 2009, I see not a single online store advertising Streets & Trips 2010 with GPS. No one is even taking any pre-orders yet. But it is coming, it is just a matter of when.

For those who wonder what type of a GPS receiver Microsoft will be including with the 2010 version, you might have already noticed on the above box shot that it is the identical USB GPS stick which was first introduced with Microsoft MapPoint 2009 and Streets & Trips 2009 a year ago.

Microsoft GPS Locator

The model number of the USB GPS receiver/antenna unit is GPS 168. The manufacturer is Navation Technologies. The unit is based on u-Blox 5 technology.

I have been using this GPS receiver exclusively for the past few months, and it works sufficiently well. However, in side-by-side comparisons with physically larger GPS receivers, when tested in difficult environments, such as among tall buildings, the Navation GPS 168 doesn't perform the best. Even though the u-Blox 5 chipset is excellent, the smaller size of the antenna cannot compete with the RF gain of larger antennas.

In areas where the signal from GPS satellites is strong, the GPS 168 by Navation works just fine, just like any other laptop GPS receiver.

It is important to mention that numerous users in the past noted the GPS unit may not work well (or it may not work at all) unless the included USB extension cable is used. Some laptop computers may emit RF signals that may interfere with the GPS receiver when in too close proximity. This is not the fault of this particular USB GPS dongle. Users of other USB GPS dongles gave the same feedback at Laptop GPS World. Luckily, Microsoft does include a short USB extension cable for this purpose.

Navation GPS 168 is a very nice looking USB GPS stick. It's small size may make it convenient for some users. If small size is not a priority, users may consider slightly larger USB GPS receivers or Bluetooth GPS receivers instead.

For a GPS receiver to be compatible with Microsoft's mapping software (Streets & Trips, AutoRoute, MapPoint), the following are system requirements:

* NMEA compliant (Non-NMEA receivers *may* work if used with GpsGate)
* 4800 baud rate (Receivers with other baud rates will work if used with GpsGate)
* 1 Hz refresh rate (Receivers w/higher refresh rate *may* include software to set them to 1Hz, 2Hz, 3Hz...)

If you already own a GPS receiver that has worked satisfactorily with earlier version(s) of Streets & Trips, you do not need to buy a new GPS unit now. All you need is a new Streets & Trips 2010 software.
jackyca
One of my friend got this one usb stick.
I installed on my computer tested,driver displayed u-blox 5 GPS and GALILEO Receiver (COM6). signal is not very good and delayed. when have receive satellite signal, Microsoft will flash.
I did some google search, said this chipset could be re-programable which was good.
I think Galileo will be very popular later on.
checked review as well in this forum,looks like not very good.
I still love my gps-500 with very strong signal.
rmcdo
That link is to Amazon.com. If you go there and read the product description, it says it was first available on 4-9-08. This can't be the 2010 version which would be much newer than that. It also says it's sold by Beach Audio. If you go to the Beach Audio Website, all they are selling is Streets & Trips 2009.

I have installed the Streets & Trips 2010 trial on my desktop computer. I have used it to create a number of trips that I plan to take in the future. However I only have ten days left on my trial after which I assume I will be unable to access these trips as my copy of S&T 2006 won't open trips created with 2010. I would like to purchase S&T 2010 with GPS so I can use it with my new netbook computer however there appears to be no places that sell it at all. There are no physical stores around, such as Staples and Office Depot, that even carry the 2010 version without GPS.

Is there any way to extend my ability to use the trial version on my desktop until S&T 2010 with GPS is available for sale? I suppose I could install it on my laptop and get another 60 days, but I would prefer to use my desktop. There must be some file or registry entry that contain the date that I installed the trial version. The whole point of offering a trial version is for people to decide if they want to purchase it. Once they do decide to purchase it, it should actually be available for purchase.
Marvin Hlavac
Hi rmcdo, it seems stores might have run out of stock . The above link pointed just to a search result page. The top result appears to be the correct product (S&T2010 v/GPS), and when I just clicked on it I also saw the Beach Audio product. I think the product is the correct one, but it is dated incorrectly. However, I don't like the price of over $80. It just means no other seller there at the moment has it in stock for less. Upon further search there I see a price of just over $60, but availability 1 to 4 weeks (not in stock now).

Could you just buy the software-only product, and then buy some other USB GPS receiver? Would that be an option?
taoyue
The "with GPS Locator" distinction is the source of endless confusion for Streets & Trips. You see questions on this forum all the time about the software-only version vs. the "with GPS Locator" version.

Surely, there must be a better way to name it to make the distinction a little clearer. Come up with a few variations, test them with a few focus groups, and pick the one that gives the correct impression to most people.

The trigger-happy folks at Microsoft product planning seem to spend plenty of time rebranding products that don't need to be rebranded. They might try actually reducing consumer confusion for a change.
rmcdo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Hi rmcdo, it seems stores might have run out of stock . The above link pointed just to a search result page. The top result appears to be the correct product (S&T2010 v/GPS), and when I just clicked on it I also saw the Beach Audio product. I think the product is the correct one, but it is dated incorrectly. However, I don't like the price of over $80. It just means no other seller there at the moment has it in stock for less. Upon further search there I see a price of just over $60, but availability 1 to 4 weeks (not in stock now).

Could you just buy the software-only product, and then buy some other USB GPS receiver? Would that be an option?
I've noticed that some reviews of Streets & Trips with GPS don't believe that the supplied GPS receiver works particularly well. I wouldn't mind buying the software only and buying a separate GPS receiver if the cost was comparable. My main concern would be whether or not the GPS receiver and the software would be compatible. By getting the software with the GPS receiver included I would be certain that they would work together.

Also there are still no stores where I live that carry Streets & Trips 2010 yet. They all still have 2009. I see that Amazon has it, but I have some money off coupons from Staples that I would like to use on Streets & Trips. I just want Microsoft to make S&T 2010 widely available in stores by the time that my trial version expires at the end of next week.
Marvin Hlavac
The the included USB GPS stick is actually not too bad, but it needs to be used with a USB extension cable, otherwise it may not work well, or it may not work at all. It needs to be a bit further away from the RF interference of the laptop. Some users say the unit works even when no USB extension is used, so this may depend on the model of the laptop used.

Microsoft does include a short USB extension to accommodate this. A good investment may be to walk into a discount store and buy a longer USB extention (~$1 or $2). I use a 6 foot long USB extension with mine. The extra length allows me to place the receiver ("Locator") on the dash board, close to the window, so the unit can receive better signals.
Jim M.
rmcdo, I understand your concern. One review here on the site that Marvin noted rated the older Microsoft USB receiver higher than the current stick. I approached that problem by buying (on ebay) a new, sealed, in the box, version of S & T 2007 with the USB locator for a total price of $25.10, including shipping. I received that package (S & T 2007, plus the receiver) in just a few days. That is a good price for just the receiver alone, in my opinion, and I also have the S & T 2007 for a backup in case I have problems with the 2010 version. That product (2007) is still available on ebay at the same price.

There are too many errors on this one product on the Amazon site to trust them on this product. Not only do they show the product availability as being before the 2010 version was released, they still show many reviews for 2008 and early 2009, and those reviews are also listed under the 2010 version. Clearly errors on the part of Amazon. Also, the price is higher than buying the receiver and software separately, as noted.

Buying the older version USB receiver (in the package with a new S & T 2007) and either updating on the Internet with Microsoft or buying the 2010 S & T without the new receiver sounds like a safe approach. Cheaper, too. It worked for me.

Jim M.
wngardner
I have S&T 2009 with the Navation 168 GPS receiver. Always wanting to keep up I bought a Windows 7 laptop and installed Streets & Trips 2010 thinking I could use the previously purchased GPS receiver (Navation 168). DOES NOT WORK! Tried everything !! In the Device Manager, Ports (COM & LPT) it shows u-blox Virtual COM Port (COM10) and under Universal Serial Bus controllers it shows Unknown Device with a yellow ! mark. The configuration scan in the program does not recognize the GPS unit at all!

Can't find solutions on the net that addresses this problem in Windows 7.

Can anyone help ? Thanks...
tcassidy
The Navation 168 works fine with Windows 7 32 bit. Did you try setting S&T to COM 10? Is your Windows 7 64 bit?

Terry
wngardner
Terry;
Thanks for the response. It is a 64bit with a x86 directory. I thought it automatically ran in the correct mode based on the program. I've tried COM10.

I downloaded the drivers from ublox and selected components USB Sensor files and Virtual Com drive files to install, Restart, and Ports (COM & LPT) it shows u-blox Virtual COM Port (COM3 -- this time), then after inserting the GPS receiver and under Universal Serial Bus controllers it shows Unkown Device with a yellow ! mark. In driver details -- Unknown Device ; Driver files - C:\windows\system32\drivers\swmsflt.sys ; Copyright - Sierra Wireless Inc. 2008.
Seems like it is loading a driver not associated with the Navation receiver.

Thanks, Ned
Ken in Regina
My bet is that the Navation driver simply isn't compatible with Win 7 64-bit. Driver incompatibility is a never-ending source of frustration for almost everyone who buys Win 7 64-bit. Everyone seems to think that because stuff works okay with Vista and Win 7 32-bit it will also work with the 64-bit version. It won't. They are way different.

Re: switching modes.... Windows 7 64-bit is a 64-bit operating system. Period. Microsoft has made no effort to ensure backwards compatibility in Win 7 64-bit. So anything that works in the 64-bit version is purely luck if the manufacturer hasn't already updated it with an explicit 64-bit version. That applies to programs and drivers.

If you want serious compatibility you need to get Windows 7 Virtual XP Mode (you can do it for free if you still have a Win XP CD kicking around .. download the free version of MS Virtual PC for Win7, install it and install Win XP as a virtual operating system in it).

...ken...
tcassidy
I can't test Win 7 64 bit and don't know if there is a separate driver. Probably but it should have been presented through Windows update.

You said you did try COM 10 but didn't say what happened with S&T. Could we have a bit more detail. Did S&T say it couldn't find a signal at all or is a lock problem? Does it get as far as the screen shot shows?

I would bet your USB yellow exclamation is a red herring (or is that yellow) as you can see the driver in Ports. Probably a different device.

Terry.
Attached Images
gps-pane.jpg  
jensen1
Hi All
I see ST2010 on amazon.com for $29, but it says they don't ship to canada, amazon.ca is $50. what gives
jensen1
wngardner
Terry;

I uninstalled Streets & Trips 2010, and reinstalled Streets & Trips 2009.

COM 10 didn't work.

Ned
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