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Where Do You Want To Go Today?

That was Microsoft’s famous slogan some years ago, but very soon that may be the question your car asks you, as soon as you get in and buckle up.

“Innovation comes ‘Standard'” claims Microsoft in a recent press release about its new Auto 4.0 platform that was announced at the CeBit and Embedded World conferences, during the first week of March.

Calling it “the next wave of automotive business,” the article says:

“The upcoming release of the Microsoft Auto software platform will be available to automakers and suppliers this spring. This will be the most comprehensive release ever, and will expand its hardware support to include Intel® Architecture processors. In this wave, Microsoft is also unveiling a new worldwide partner programme, including platform training partners to provide technical education on Microsoft Auto to help automakers and suppliers deliver the next innovations in vehicle infotainment, navigation and communication devices.”

The Microsoft Auto Platform aims to provide a common head unit functionality including a standard interface for radio tuners, CD players, etc. Companies like Navigon, Elektrobit and Continental AG plan to advance their navigation systems and other aids to provide the driver with real-time information.  One-shot destination entry, recognition of multiple commands in a single-phrase, in-dash internet connectivity and wireless connectivity are some of the features that we might be seeing in cars of the near future.

“The automotive industry is at an inflection point, where software plus services will redefine the future of the in-vehicle experience, and innovation is the new currency,”

says Tom Phillips, general manager of the Microsoft Automotive Business Unit.

“The challenge facing automakers is how to quickly and affordably bring innovative in-car solutions and services to their customers. The Microsoft Auto platform is the critical component to meet that challenge.”

The Microsoft Auto 4.0 will also support  the Intel Architecture processors, including the Atom Z5xx series, in addition to the ARM- and SH-based processors that were previously supported.

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