Microsoft is announcing a patent licensing deal with Toyota in order to make a fresh attempt to convince companies to use their technology of connected cars. The deal is first of its kind and Toyota is the first company that agreed to partner with Microsoft. Microsoft’s new auto licensing program included entertainment, voice recognition and access to navigation.
Toyota still hasn’t revealed their plans regarding the use of the signed patents but it is clear that these software packages are not simply provided by Microsoft to be solely run in cars.
Microsoft first revealed the concept of Windows in the car almost 3 years ago. But unfortunately, could not make it a reality. This patent licensing deals seems like a step back from their original ideas and previous ambitious efforts. Microsoft seemed to be competing with Apple’s CarPlay system which allows users to convert their mobile devices into a center of car’s entertainment system.
Unlike Google, Microsoft has claimed that the company is not interested in building self-driving cars. However, they are ambitious about powering them. Last year Harman, one of the leading companies of connected care technology, revealed that they were planning to incorporate Microsoft’s Office 365 into its infotainment systems. Apart from that, other two huge companies, Nissan and BMW plan to provide Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana in their cars.
Previously companies like Kia, Ford, Nissan, BMW and Fiat all have used Microsoft’s software. Microsoft has partnered directly with these car manufacturers in the past to provide them special and customized versions of Windows designed for vehicles. But this new patent seems to be the easy way out for Microsoft. They can license their way out of the hard work and immense research required to come up with a software ecosystem, especially for connected cars.