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Microsoft, Hyundai Join for In-Car Entertainment

Deal is said to involve a joint investment of more than a quarter billion dollars.

Microsoft is positioning itself to be part of the in-car information and data systems business on a broad scale.

The software giant inked a deal with South Korean automaker Hyundai to joins efforts to build a music and information system to debut in North American cars in 2010.

The companies did not reveal specific financial terms; however the South Korean president said Microsoft and Hyundai would invest $113 million and $166 million respectively.

Microsoft and Hyundai said their first product would be a voice-controlled system linking mobile devices to car stereo systems. This would compete with the Ford Sync system, which Ford developed with Microsoft. With Sync, drivers can use voice commands to control a system linking the car’s audio system with cell phone, MP3 players and Apple iPods.

Microsoft and Hyundai said subsequent versions of their in-car entertainment product would include multimedia and navigation-related features.