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Microsoft’s new software platform will power the Nissan LEAF’s information system

Microsoft this week unveiled the latest version of its software platform for cars, Windows Embedded Automotive 7. The platform will make communication, entertainment and navigation in cars easier to use and will spur the development of next-generation infotainment systems, Microsoft said.

The US software group said that Nissan’s new 2011 LEAF electric car will have a touch-screen Information Hub powered by Windows Embedded Automotive 7. The hub will let LEAF drivers and passengers use a new navigation system that will give information on the location of electricity charging stations. It also will provide power-consumption information.

Microsoft said its new platform will give users access to a wide range of the company’s tools and technologies. Key features include speech commands, touch input, hands-free Bluetooth phone communications, advanced dashboard systems for access to music, maps, third-party apps and navigation, and streamlined connectivity with other devices, the software maker said.

Additional features of Microsoft’s new software include:

ӢSilverlight for Windows Embedded, a graphics program

ӢTellme speech technology for hands-free system commands

ӢNew system tools to improve integration of third-party systems

Next to Nissan, automakers Ford and Kia are using Windows Embedded Automotive in developing next-generation infotainment systems.

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