REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 27, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a strategic alliance with the Blaupunkt subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, a worldwide leader in advanced automotive electronics, to create a comprehensive family of powerful in-vehicle computing and communicating products, including navigation and telematics (wireless data delivery) devices. Based on the Microsoft® Windows® CE for Automotive software platform, these devices will combine Internet connectivity with traditional car navigation and route-planning functions, as well as entertainment systems for drivers and passengers.
Experts predict that 50 percent of all new cars and 90 percent of the higher-end models will have telematics-capable appliances by 2006 (source: Strategy Analytics). With more than 55 million new cars sold annually and 650 million cars registered worldwide, the potential for automotive telematics is staggering. According to the Westwind Research Group, subscription services such as Internet access for these devices is expected to become a $20 billion industry by 2005. Americans alone spend more than 500 million
per week in the car (source: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1995).
Consumers are increasingly demanding better safety and security capabilities in new vehicles, as well as the latest in entertainment systems. Internet-based information services such as news, traffic updates, instant messaging and navigation assistance, as well as DVD-based entertainment systems, are key elements in meeting these demands. The need to integrate the delivery and display of this rich data across many different products and vehicles has complicated the design of in-vehicle telematics devices, making it critical that developers and manufacturers use a common platform for the software that powers each of the devices.
“We at Blaupunkt have decided in favor of selecting Windows CE for Automotive as our preferred development platform for future navigation, telematics and a range of smart devices,”
said Andreas Eppinger, managing director of development at the Blaupunkt subsidiary.
“This allows us to accelerate development cycles and speed up the rollout of an intelligent software platform for telematics applications.”
“Alliances like this confirm our conviction that as in-vehicle computing systems evolve, the industry will benefit from an open platform environment such as Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive,”
said Joachim Kempin, senior vice president of sales for Microsoft.
“It provides great technology on which to build a rich selection of applications and services that are optimized for the automotive user experience.”
The companies hope to bring their first products, including OEM and aftermarket devices, to market in 2001.
Microsoft’s alliance with Bosch follows a major win last week in Japan, where the Windows CE for Automotive Forum was created. The forum includes five of Japan’s largest suppliers of automotive accessories, all of whom intend to standardize their development environments on Windows.
“For quite some time, people have been measuring the success of the Windows CE platform in only the handheld space,”
“Certainly we’ve had some terrific wins recently with our Pocket PC. But we believe there’s significantly greater business and growth opportunity for Windows CE in areas like automotive accessories.”
About Windows CE for Automotive
Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive is an operating system built on Windows CE technology to make possible new categories of in-car computers that are capable of safely providing drivers and passengers with hands-free communication, access to personalized information on the Internet, the ability to summon emergency services and roadside assistance, and an array of convenience and entertainment applications. Windows CE for Automotive is an open platform that allows developers to quickly create powerful in-car computing solutions. It offers flexibility and choice of computing platforms, hardware peripherals and software components, as well as a large community of developers familiar with Windows CE development practices.
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