Microsoft and Siemens sign in-car IT deal

Next-gen comms and entertainment system planned

Microsoft’s in-car technology is getting a boost via a deal with Germany’s Siemens VDO Automotive division, which has agreed to collaborate on a next-generation communications and entertainment system.

Siemens and Microsoft will work together to develop a new generation of on-board communications, navigation and entertainment systems that use Microsoft Auto, a software system and hardware reference design. Siemens VDO counts Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford among its customers.

Among the features planned by the two companies are in-vehicle video entertainment and internet connectivity.

Systems based on Microsoft Auto let drivers connect various portable devices, such as mobile phones, MP3 players and video games, to their automotive system via a USB 2.0 port, and interact with devices via voice technology.

The new multimedia system planned by Siemens VDO is scheduled to be available in early 2009.

It will be based on hardware components and software developed by the company, and will include components of Microsoft Auto. A prototype was shown recently at a Frankfurt motor show.

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