Microsoft’s push into the connected car space has moved up a gear with a new patent licensing agreement with Toyota. The world’s second-largest auto maker will have access to a range of Microsoft patents as part of the deal announced this week.
Rather than trying to build a high-tech automobile of its own, Microsoft is focusing on providing carmakers with the tools they need to create smarter vehicles and the Toyota deal is the first of what it hopes will be a series of such agreements.
Microsoft offers an entire suite of cloud services aimed at aiding the development of internet-enabled automobiles and is also integrating its Cortana virtual assistant into cars alongside PCs, phones and other devices. In the future, a connected car could become a rolling extension of a user’s office, with Office 365 integrations.