Microsoft is a big fan of 'strategic partnerships' these days. Their latest is with Toyota, who will use Microsoft's cloud-based Windows Azure platform to power their in-car telematics system. What are telematics, exactly?
Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles; it can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.
Jalopnik believes Toyota will position this service as a competitor to GM's OnStar system. And where previously implemented in-car multimedia systems, such as Ford's Sync or Toyota's Entune, focus on multimedia, this new collaboration is geared towards utility and driver service. Toyota hasn't specified exactly what will be featured in the new system, or how Entune will fit into this, but they plan to roll the system out into the first cars (most likely hybrid and electric cars) in 2012 and make it available in all cars by 2015. [Microsoft via Jalopnik]