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USA: Microsoft Car.NET Connects Motorists to the Wireless Internet

By Press Release | 17 October 2000

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.