Microsoft Teams Up With Hyundai-Kia To Provide In-Car Infotainment

Microsoft and top South Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai-Kia have announced that they are to pair up and design an in-car music/information system.

Details of the collaboration and product are limited, however, the tech giant and car manufacturer did reveal that the system would allow users to talk to their radios using voice a controlled system that connects mobile devices to your radio.

Bill Gates is in Seoul, South Korea this week and is accompanied by Martin Thall, general manager of Microsoft’s Automotive Business Unit, who will sign the agreement along side Hyon Soon Lee, President and CTO of Hyundai-Kia.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but we do know that the two companies will invest $300 million over the next five years in order to fund an "Automotive IT Innovation Center”.

The first product in the line will be available in North America by 2010 and availability in Europe and Asia will follow. The voice controlled infotainment systems are expected to expand into multimedia and navigation devices shortly thereafter.

It’s no secret that Microsoft has been trying to branch out from its place in the home and office and the company believes the infotainment systems could be a step forward for the company as well entertainment for the consumer in his or her car.

"These new systems will redefine consumer experiences in the car," Martin Thall, general manager of Microsoft’s automotive business unit, said in a statement released by Hyundai.

"We’re now aligned to develop the next generation of in-car infotainment systems," he added.

[insert joke(s) about open windows here]