"The advanced capabilities, flexibility and low price point make the Microsoft Auto software platform an attractive solution for us."

If you thought that USB connectivity in your car audio system was high-tech you will be happy to hear that Microsoft and Hyundia-Kia Automotive Group will work together to develop a next generation in-car infotainment system. Ford offers Sync, Chrysler has MyGig, iDrive can be found in BMWs and Fiat has Blue&Me on offer and by 2010 Hyundai and Kia will join the fray.

Microsoft and HKAG have been working together since 2006, but now the cooperation will take on a more serious form. A few days ago Bill Gates traveled to Korea to witness the signing a long-term agreement with Hyundai-Kia.

"These new systems will redefine consumer experiences in the car. We're now aligned to develop the next generation of in-car infotainment systems." said Martin Thall, GM of Microsoft's Automotive Business Unit.

The first fruits of the cooperative labor will manifest itself in 2010 in the US market. By that time Hyundai-Kia hopes to launch their next-generation infotainment system with voice-controlled connectivity between mobile devices. Following the US market, the next gen infotainment system will make its way to Europe and Asia and expand into multimedia and navigation devises.

Gallery: Hyundai-Kia and Microsoft to Develop Next Gen In-Car Infotainment