Well, it's quite the day for any GPS-related announcement, but Microsoft has nonetheless made a fairly big one of its own, with it dropping word via a simple service announcement that it's killing off its MSN Direct live information service for navigation units (among other devices -- even the odd coffeemaker). Those relying on the FM-based service won't be left in the lurch just yet, however, as the shutdown won't occur until January 1st, 2012. Anyone looking to move on with their lives before that can also cancel their service at any point prior to the shutdown date and receive a pro-rated refund for the unused portion of their service, and you can of course rest assured that all MSN Direct-equipped GPS devices will continue to function as basic nav units after the shutdown. Hit up the link below for the complete FAQ.

[Via Ars Technica, thanks Eric]