The Power of Partnership at SAE Convergence 2010

DETROIT — Oct. 21, 2010 — This past Tuesday at the SAE Convergence 2010 Conference and Exhibition, Microsoft was on the scene — not to blow its own horn, but to show how its partnerships within the automotive industry drive innovation today. Auto manufacturers have created revolutionary in-car systems with Windows Embedded Automotive, and the announcement of Windows Embedded Automotive 7 sets the stage for even greater things to come.

Microsoft at SAE 2010.

Kevin Dallas, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Embedded business, had the privilege of delivering a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Banquet. There, he provided insights into the increasing value of technology and partnerships between auto manufacturers and technology companies like Microsoft. He also shared key examples of how Microsoft is working with auto manufacturing partners to drive meaningful industry innovation.

The Windows Embedded Automotive platform, he said, provides partners with three major advantages as a foundation for creating in-vehicle infotainment systems:

  • Reduced risk – Partners have access to the latest tools for developers that support the stable integration of advanced, high-performance third-party systems

  • Speed – Because Windows Embedded Automotive simplifies the development process, partners can increase reliability and achieve a faster time to market

  • Differentiation – The flexibility of Windows Embedded Automotive means that partners can deliver uniquely branded experiences across a variety of model ranges

To highlight Microsoft’s commitment to its auto industry partners, Kevin announced the launch of Microsoft’s latest automotive platform: Windows Embedded Automotive 7. The new version of Windows Embedded Automotive features Silverlight for Windows Embedded, Microsoft Tellme Speech Engine Technology, and the latest generation of automotive systems tools for developers of in-vehicle infotainment systems.

He also participated in a Blue Ribbon Panel on “The Mobility Ecosystem.” The panel — which also included representatives from Kia, Sprint Nextel, RIM, Freescale, ATX, OnStar and Gartner — discussed opportunities for the convergence of new technologies and services to deliver on the promise of smart automotive mobility for tomorrow.

Mukund Ghangurde, director of Product Management for Windows Embedded, participated in a technical session titled “Smart Mobility is Connected” where he presented a new white paper about the Ford SYNC/Microsoft partnership. He described how the automobile has largely failed to keep pace with the digital technology revolution. Ford and Microsoft, however, were early to recognize the trend of digital convergence in the automobile, and shared a vision for quickly bringing an affordable product to market that could keep pace with consumer technology and at the same time reach beyond the niche markets of luxury auto buyers and aftermarket enthusiasts.

That vision is now reality. The result of this close collaboration is the SYNC in-car infotainment system, a revolutionary in-vehicle system that illustrates the success of Microsoft’s automotive partnership efforts, and the successful development by automakers that paved the way for Windows Embedded Automotive 7.

Meanwhile, visitors to the Windows Embedded Automotive booth got a firsthand look at Windows Embedded Automotive 7. The Windows Embedded Automotive team also showed several partner demos:

  • Renesas showed its SH7776 running Windows Embedded Automotive 7 including OpenVG1.1 and 3D Perspective Drawing.

  • Freescale showed its i.MX53 EVK running Windows Embedded Automotive 7 with Multimedia playback — HD video and audio, Bluetooth connectivity, speech recognition and database navigation.

  • NVIDIA showed its Tegra 2 running Windows Embedded Automotive 7 with several sample applications to show off 3-D rendering speed.

  • Elektrobit showed off its EB Street director and EB Guide with state management.

  • Qualnetics displayed its WEA-HDK (Windows Embedded Automotive-Hardware Development Kit) and walked people through how to get started with Windows Embedded Automotive 7 development.

You can read the announcement of Windows Embedded Automotive 7, and check out the white paper that Mukund presented. As Kevin said in his keynote, “the power of partnerships is phenomenal.” Microsoft looks forward to seeing great new products, great new partnerships, and many exciting automotive opportunities in the years to come.

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