The partnership represents a new side business for Toyota. The Japanese auto maker will use Microsoft's Windows Azure technology to create a "cloud computing" system that can be accessed by Toyota vehicles around the world.
The first vehicles to use the new software will be Toyota's suite of new plug-in electric vehicles due out in 2012. A global system connected to all of Toyota's vehicles is due out in 2015.
This system effectively connects vehicles through a mobile signal to
servers around the world, taking the on-board hardware and software out
of a vehicle.