Microsoft taps Nokia Maps to expand Windows Phone traffic data

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is rolling out expanded real-time traffic coverage within its built-in Maps app for Windows Phone, relying on Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Maps data to integrate more highways and secondary streets across the U.S.

The Show Traffic feature within Maps for Windows Phone includes color-coded roadways depicting current traffic conditions: Green roads are clear, yellow and orange roads are congested, and black roads are closed. The new update incorporates information on more transit routes: "I can now get traffic conditions almost straight to my doorstep," writes Microsoft Maps program manager Scott Borton on the Windows Phone Blog.

Maps for Windows Phone also relies on Nokia Maps' international reach to add traffic data for selected cities in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.K. Borton states the cities will go online within the next few weeks.

Earlier this week, WPCentral reported Nokia Maps will replace Microsoft's own Bing Maps in all devices running the software giant's Windows Phone mobile operating system. Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 8 will initiate the transition from Bing Maps to Nokia Maps, introducing features including 3D navigation and hardware acceleration: In February, Microsoft and Nokia announced a unified maps design for both the mobile and desktop versions of Bing and Nokia Maps, indicating designers from both companies collaborated to create a streamlined approach including improved contrast, colors and typography.

Nokia Maps services feature turn-by-turn directions, voice navigation tools and multiple map views like public transport and live traffic. Nokia Maps includes software and services acquired via deals for companies like navigation platform Navteq, 3D urban modeling software developer PixelActive and crowdsourced traffic alert solutions provider Trapster. Last July, Nokia integrated the Navteq unit into its new Location & Commerce business.

Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows Phone 8 during an event scheduled for June 20. WPCentral adds Windows Phone 8 will integrate Skype VoIP services and support for Near Field Communications-based contactless payments.

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Blog entry

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