Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform is about much more than Cortana in Nissans

Turns out the tease was true: Microsoft Cortana is indeed coming to Nissan cars, the auto maker revealed at CES 2017 today. 

But that's just the surface. Nissan is actually the first car company to partner with Microsoft on its new Connected Vehicle Platform, a suite of services built on Azure that will help those in the industry "create custom connected driving experiences."

Microsoft made clear in its own press release it doesn't plan to build a connected car of its own, nor is this an in-car operating system, like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. 

Instead, Microsoft's Connected Vehicle Platform is a service for others to utilize. It will stay agile, constantly adapting as it works on five key areas: predictive maintenance, in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and advancing autonomous driving capabilities.

The platform will bring Microsoft tools and services, including Cortana, Skype for Business and Office 365, to cars. To give a taste of what a Connected Vehicle Platform car might do: if you ask Cortana to set up a meeting while you're on the phone at home, the next time you get in the car, Cortana will remind you about the meeting and start the navigation to get you there. 

As for Nissan, Microsoft said its services are destined for the car maker's next-gen connected vehicles, providing information on everything from navigation to predictive maintenance. 

Nissan's platform participation comes after BMW already announced it will integrate Cortana into its vehicles in the future. Volvo's 90 Series will also feature Skype for Business, Microsoft noted.

The Connected Vehicle Platform will launch in a public preview later this year. While some may be disappointed we're not in for a Windows Car, Microsoft is clearly serious about helping others deliver connected cars down the road.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.