Expanding its in-car services from Ford’s SYNC in North America and Fiat’s Blue&Me in Europe and South America, Microsoft has announced the immediate availability of Microsoft Live Search for Devices, the first of many new services for the auto industry from the software giant.
Live Search for Devices allows automakers to develop applications that will allow drivers to perform local searches for businesses, gas-stations and restaurants.
Microsoft also said that in a challenging time for the automotive industry, the software company will invest more than 30 percent in its Automotive Business Unit (ABU) this fiscal year. The investment will expand its engineering resources for the in-vehicle software platforms.
How about taking tips from BMW’s ConnectedDrive that allows you unrestricted use of internet and lets you visit Yahoo! Local and Google Maps for free just like you would do on your laptop/desktop rather than using some gimmicky software developed by Ford or Fiat.
Read the press release below for more info.
Microsoft Extends Award-Winning Automotive Platform
A new era of growth and expansion includes software plus services.
REDMOND, Wash. “” July 28, 2008 “” Microsoft Corp. today announced it will expand its automotive offering beyond software to include services. Microsoft”s Automotive Business Unit (ABU) continues to enhance in-vehicle experiences by providing automakers with new and innovative ways to meet increasing consumer expectations. As a key part of these innovations, Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Microsoft Live Search for Devices, the first of many new services for its automotive platforms. Live Search for Devices enables partners to develop applications, including local search services, for in-vehicle infotainment. Live Search for Devices will be available for easier implementation in Microsoft”s automotive platforms, Windows Automotive and future releases of Microsoft Auto.
Microsoft has a history of delivering award-winning software platforms for in-vehicle systems that offer fresh and innovative infotainment experiences for consumers worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing businesses at Microsoft, Microsoft Auto and Windows Automotive help partners reduce time-to-market, control costs and provide flexible solutions for in-vehicle infotainment. Best known for providing the software that powers Ford SYNC in North America, Fiat Auto Group”s Blue&Me in Europe and South America, and state-of-the-art navigations solutions developed by world-leading Japanese manufacturers, Microsoft is a committed software technology partner for the automotive industry. ABU is developing a platform targeted for release in 2009 that enhances Microsoft”s current in-vehicle products into an integrated automotive solution.
In what is a challenging time for the automotive industry, Microsoft is increasing its investment in the Automotive Business Unit by more than 30 percent this fiscal year. The commitment includes expanding its engineering resources for the in-vehicle software platforms that deliver new levels of partner innovation and create engaging, exciting experiences for consumers.
As Microsoft accelerates its development of in-vehicle platforms and enters into a new era of growth with software-plus-services solutions, ABU is transitioning from incubation to a maturing business with volume growth and expansion. As Martin Thall, who has guided ABU through the start-up period, moves on to take on a new challenge, Tom Phillips has been named the general manager of ABU to lead the business in the next phase. Thall has been an excellent leader during ABU”s entrepreneurial phase and has established Microsoft as a trusted global partner to the automotive industry.
“I want to thank Martin for the phenomenal job he has done. His leadership and business-development acumen were exactly what ABU needed to establish the platform and break through to the next level,” said Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president, Specialized Devices and Applications Group (SDA) at Microsoft. “As the business evolves, we look to Tom Phillips, with his expertise in bringing new software and services businesses to maturity, to continue to grow and expand the business.”
Phillips has been with Microsoft for 16 years, including senior roles in software development, hardware development and field sales. Since joining Microsoft, Phillips has shipped more than 20 products, including a number of platforms, and has been responsible for bringing several new businesses to maturity. In his new role, Phillips will lead both ABU and SDA”s Microsoft Global Services Group.
About Microsoft Automotive Business Unit
The Microsoft Automotive Business Unit is a dedicated partner to the auto industry, providing innovative technologies and flexible software platforms to help deliver simple, more reliable and cost-effective in-car infotainment systems. Developed closely with automakers and automotive suppliers, the award-winning Microsoft Auto and Windows Automotive software platforms connect drivers with a wide range of devices, services and technology while on the go, including hands-free communication, mobile device integration, customized navigation and high-fidelity digital entertainment. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/auto.