Today at Convergence 2000,
the premier automotive electronics conference, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
announced the introduction of its Car.NET platform, an advanced new generation
of infrastructure technology that brings computing and communications to the
automotive industry in a revolutionary way. Car.NET offers technology and service
providers the tools for extending today’s computing experience into the automobile
— opening up the world of the wireless Internet to motorists in a safe and
secure manner.

Car.NET has its origins
in the Microsoft(R) .NET initiative, which permits the creation of distributed
Web services that will integrate and collaborate with a range of complementary
services. These services, combined with in- vehicle electronics — audio and
video, telephone, navigation and telematics (which integrates vehicle control
and monitoring systems with location tracking and wireless communications) –
will empower carmakers, automotive suppliers and service providers to make traveling
easier, more entertaining, less stressful and safer. Car.NET envisions an end-to-end
framework, which includes in-vehicle computing clients powered by Microsoft
Windows(R) CE for Automotive and a server infrastructure based on Microsoft
Mobile Information Server for Automotive.

Microsoft Car.NET applies
.NET principles to the automotive industry in the following ways:

— Microsoft Car.NET Framework.
The Car.NET Framework, the key to the connected car, includes the .NET infrastructure
and tools needed to build and operate a new generation of services based on
XML. These range from core telematics services, such as emergency response and
roadside assistance, to convenience services, such as routing assistance and
navigation, and from location-based e-commerce services to customer relationship
management applications and services. The Car.NET tools will enable car manufacturers,
automotive suppliers and service providers to harness Internet technology on
their own terms.

— Microsoft Car.NET devices.
In-vehicle computing and communicating devices powered by Windows CE for Automotive
are optimized for and compliant with Car.NET. Moreover, practically any mobile
computing device brought into a car will be able to interface with the Car.NET
infrastructure. This includes embedded devices, such as driver information systems,
navigation systems and smart radios, as well as personal mobile devices, such
as phones, PDAs and laptops. There are no operating system or language requirements
to interface with the Car.NET Framework.

— Microsoft Car.NET server.
Microsoft Mobile Information Server for Automotive provides the optimal interface
for wireless delivery of services to mobile devices. Any service can plug into
any device via the Microsoft Mobile Information Server for Automotive. This
server platform will support connection to any Web service, including e-mail
servers such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes. The Microsoft Mobile Information
Server for Automotive can route to any interface standard including all cellular
phone wireless standards. To support extensibility to existing services, the
server is a platform upon which service interfaces can be developed.

— Microsoft Car.NET services.
Any service can plug into the Car.NET Framework. Microsoft will be working with
industry partners to provide a family of services – including support for synchronized
e-mail, e- mail browsing and remote software update.

The Car.NET Framework provides
opportunities for industry partners to participate at every level of the telematics
service supply chain. Partners will provide embedded and portable in-vehicle
devices, server solutions, business services and consumer services, all taking
advantage of the power of open standards supported by the Car.NET Framework.

The Microsoft Car.NET vision
means empowerment for car manufacturers, system suppliers, service providers
and motorists. It is all about providing consumers with a safe and robust computing
experience any time, any place and on any device – including in their car. It
means unleashing the full potential of the Internet – the Web the way users
want it.

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.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.

NOTE: 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.