The two companies said on Friday the first Siemens products based on Microsoft software
The market for automotive infotainment products is set to grow to about $54 billion by 2012 from $38 billion currently, according to research group iSuppli.
The rise of portable media players and content downloadable from the Internet is forcing carmakers and their suppliers to rethink their offerings, which have until recently centered on standalone audio systems.
Siemens automotive unit VDO, which is being bought by car-parts maker Continental for $15.6 billion, said using would give it more room to concentrate on its core competencies.
Siemens VDO also makes driver-assistance and safety systems.
"In addition, Siemens VDO will also be able to actively help shape Microsoft Auto and license platform-compliant applications, such as navigation functions, for
The companies said their first milestone would be a multimedia platform that would make it possible to integrate consumer-electronic functions and portable devices.
"Consequently, new solutions in
"This helps close the gap between the short development cycles in communications and information technology and the comparatively long product cycles in automotive engineering."