Microsoft's automotive business unit launched Windows Mobile for Automotive at the 2006 Geneva International Motor Show. The product consists of a software platform and hardware reference design for in-car infotainment systems.
Microsoft and Fiat Auto Group simultaneously launched Blue&Me, a Windows Mobile-based in-car infotainment system that allows motorists to use voice commands and a push-to-talk button to operate their mobile phones, digital music players and other devices in the car. The system supports hands-free communication for more than 140 types of mobile phones via a Bluetooth connection and can connect with a wide variety of personal music players and other devices through a USB port. It’s available in the Fiat Grande Punto, Alfa Romeo 159, Alfa Romeo Spider and Alfa Romeo Brera.
"By partnering with Microsoft, we've been able to design, test and deliver a new in-car infotainment system to market in less than two years," said Giuseppe Bonollo, vice president of product portfolio management at Fiat Auto.
Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, said OEMs using Windows Mobile for Automotive to develop in-car infotainment systems can tailor functionality for specific models or desired price points; for example, providing voice prompts and a heads-up display in an economy car and full-color LCD in a luxury model.