Microsoft Software Hits the Road in Europe

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2003 — Today at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Microsoft Corp. announced that the newly released Fiat Lancia Thesis is equipped with a Siemens VDO Automotive infotainment system built on the Microsoft® in-car computing platform, Windows®
CE for Automotive. The system is up and running successfully on European roads, providing drivers and passengers with an enhanced, voice-activated mobile computing experience.

The in-car device includes next-generation information and entertainment features such as navigation applications, location-based services and text-to-speech capabilities as well as a CD player, AM/FM radio and audio management interface. Working with Siemens VDO Automotive, Microsoft developed an in-vehicle software system robust enough to easily withstand the demands of the daily commute.

“The project experience with Siemens VDO Automotive is very important to us,”
said Carmelo Morgano, European automotive manager of the Automotive Business Unit at Microsoft.
“The in-car computing device, developed for the Lancia Thesis, is the most modern telematics console on the European market today. The Siemens VDO Automotive solution, based on our Windows CE for Automotive platform, enables drivers to enjoy their car even more.”

The Fiat Lancia Thesis is the most recent addition to Microsoft’s growing list of 17 preinstalled and aftermarket devices from world-class automakers and suppliers, including BMW of North America LLC, Citron, Clarion Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries (manufacturers of Subaru brand cars), Toyota Motor Corp. and Volvo Cars of North America.

Since Windows CE for Automotive was introduced in 1998, telematics devices have evolved from one-way communication systems to interactive, voice-enabled systems that allow drivers and passengers to use cell phones hands-free, download music and receive real-time traffic updates. For automakers and suppliers, creating successful telematics solutions requires not only knowing the needs of today’s consumers, but also having a flexible, reliable software platform that delivers the best technical tools for in-vehicle devices.

About Windows CE for Automotive

Microsoft has invested half a decade in providing the automotive industry with great software that delivers information, entertainment, communication and services in vehicles. The company works very closely with automakers, automotive electronics manufacturers and consumers to provide the embedded automotive industry with the systems and tools for building the next generation of intelligent, Windows Powered devices that demand rich applications and Internet services for a wide range of flexible solutions. Windows CE for Automotive is an open platform that allows developers to quickly create powerful in-car computing solutions. It offers flexibility, with a choice of computing platforms, hardware peripherals and software components, as well as a large community of experienced developers for Windows CE.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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