March 4, 2002 7:40 AM PST

BMWs hit the road with Microsoft

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Cars in BMW's new line, the BMW 7 Series, are equipped with a special kind of Windows: the Microsoft kind.

Microsoft's Windows CE software will allow BMW drivers to navigate, make calls and control many of the cars' other features. The BMW 7 Series was launched in Germany last fall and has just been released in the United States.

The new line of BMWs use a navigating system from Siemens, called the Siemens VDO Automotive AG, which includes Microsoft's operating system. Microsoft also recently announced the launch of Windows CE for Automotive v3.5, the newest version of its software for cars based on Windows CE.

Microsoft said last July, that over the next year and a half, nine automakers would ship cars with built-in devices that use the Windows CE operating system, which allows drivers to check their calendars or stock portfolios and use voice commands.

Microsoft has been working with consulting company Accenture to provide what it calls "telematic" services for cars, a combination of telecom and data technology.


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