Update: Just to clarify, Microsoft is only providing a link between existing enterprise software and one of Sprint’s existing LBS APIs. They are however the only company to complete a solution and hence they are powering the critical portion of Sprint’s GPS, the API-to-application link. Considering how MapPoint technologies generally eventually become available in consumer applications, it is likely this development will be available to consumers soon.
Sprint has finally gotten together all the necessary components for LBS (Location Based Services) on their devices. The final component, being a configurable and deployable server to handle GPS calculations.
Sprint appears to have chosen Microsoft for the development. Earlier this week, Microsoft posted as quielty as they could the file Sprint Location Provider and Notification Provider for Microsoft MapPoint Location Server, Version 1.0, which is an addon to Microsoft’s MapPoint Location Server system.
The included documentation does give some insight as to how the service will work. The provider will install MapPoint LS and the Sprint addon, then have the proper security credentials forwarded to Sprint. Sprint will certify the LBS setup and sign the application that is to be executed on the phone. The content provider then receives the two certificates, and installs them in MapPoint LS.
As to accuracy, MapPoint LS has three settings, but Sprint only uses two, Low and High. Low claims an accuracy of “less than 3 kilometers” while High claims “less than 100 meters”.
However, several notes on the download’s description page draw into question how this will play a consumer GPS role. As is stands, with this addon, each phone must be provisioned to support it. While this addon most likely could be used in a consumer application, Microsoft states that it is only for use with enterprise deployments of MapPoint.