Google is already investing aggressively in autonomous vehicles, and Apple is believed to be doing the same thing, although Cupertino has remained completely tight-lipped on any project that might involve a supposed Apple Car.
Looking at the current tech industry, Microsoft is the only tech giant that doesn’t seem to be going in the same direction, and at a recent event, a company executive has said that they’re not in any way interested in building self-driving cars.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft doesn’t want to be part of this trend, as it already has big ambitions to conquer the automotive industry in what could be a more effective way.
Microsoft intends to collaborate with car makers and offer them access to their services, be they Office, Azure, or even Windows.
“We won’t be building our own autonomous vehicle but we would like to enable autonomous vehicles and assisted driving as well,” Peggy Johnson, head of the company’s business development unit,at the Converge conference.
Johnson has revealed that Microsoft has already contacted several car manufacturers to discuss ways to invest in the automotive industry, trying to determine the solutions that these companies need for their future models.
Boosting productivity behind the wheel
And according to her findings, car companies “are all looking to differentiate in the space,” and Microsoft could be a potential partner that could help them do that. Seven or eight companies have already discussed with Microsoft several projects in this direction, but no agreement has been reached just yet.
“We in different ways enabled a variety of different partners and you’ll see us continuing to do that,” she points out.
Microsoft’s obsession with productivity seems to be reason enough for car makers out there to tap the company for a number of in-vehicle features, Johnson says, adding that these manufacturers are very interested in.
“You’re sitting in the car for many, many minutes a day. Can that be part of your new office, can it be your new desk, a place where you actually get work done? We believe it can. Each of them had a little something different that they wanted,” she explains.
Microsoft has already demonstrated ways to access Office in the car and with the, working even behind the wheel is no longer impossible. For the moment, however, all these projects are still in their early days, and it could take a while until Microsoft becomes an important service provider in the automotive world.