As a Prius owner and Microsoft developer, I find this announcement to be really exciting.

There’s a live webcast today (6 April 2011): Watch at 1 p.m. PDT

Here are the official talking points:

  • Microsoft Corp. and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) today announced that they have forged a partnership to build a global platform for TMC’s next-generation telematics services using Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud services platform. Telematics is the fusion of telecom and information technologies in vehicles, including GPS, energy management, and more.
  • Toyota and Microsoft Azure cloud powerAs part of the partnership, the two companies will participate in a 1 billion yen (approximately $12 million) investment in Toyota Media Service, Co., a TMC subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies will help develop and deploy telematics applications on Windows Azure – composed of Windows Azure and SQL Azure – starting with TMC’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012.
  • Both companies will benefit from the agreement, as Toyota will be able to innovate, scale and deliver compelling services via the Windows Azure cloud platform, while Microsoft continues to build momentum around its cloud strategy with a large, enterprise company embracing Windows Azure to drive efficiencies and deliver innovative services. Most importantly, millions of Toyota customers will benefit from an affordable and advanced telematics services offering.

Now I want to start writing plug-ins for my pluggable 2012 Prius.

Microsoft, Toyota to Partner on Cloud-Powered Auto Advances