Microsoft’s Automotive Business Unit (ABU) is “transitioning from incubation into a maturing business with volume growth and expansion,” and general manager Martin Thall is being replaced by Tom Phillips, who will also keep his current responsibilities as general manager and chief technology officer of the Specialized Devices and Applications Group’s (SDA)
Global Services Group. Thall “moves on to take on a new challenge,” according to a Microsoft statement, but the company is not ready to say what that challenge might be.
Microsoft also said it’s expanding the ABU’s charter to include services – such as Live Search for Devices – in addition to software. The Live Search service supports the development of local search applications. The company said it’s developing a platform to enhance its current in-vehicle products into an integrated automotive solution. The platform is expected to be available in 2009.
Microsoft is increasing its investment in the ABU by more than 30% this fiscal year. The commitment includes expanding engineering resources for in-vehicle software platforms.