Microsoft Corp is looking forward to teaming up with Taiwanese partners as part of its plans to develop “connected cars” that recognize voice commands, a company executive said yesterday.
Samuel Shen (申元慶), chief operating officer at the Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, said the Redmond, Washington-based firm has developed a prototype of a connected car using the “Cortana” voice-recognition virtual assistant of the Windows 10 operating system.
The Cortana-connected prototype also has its windscreen integrated with a navigation system, allowing the virtual assistant to show the location of the driver’s nearby preferred locations on the windscreen or make restaurant reservations, he said.
“We have not launched similar products due to the high cost, but we hope to have further discussions with Taiwanese partners to jointly explore future possibilities,” Shen said during his opening keynote speech at the TechDays Taiwan developer conference in Taipei.
He did not mention the names of any potential partners, nor did he set up a timetable to develop Cortana-based connected cars.
Microsoft demonstrated its “Windows in the Car” concept in April last year — extending the functionality of a Windows Phone directly into a built-in car display — as its answer to Apple Inc’s “CarPlay.”
TechDays is an annual Microsoft industry event for software development, software architecture and IT solutions in Taiwan. This year’s conference attracted more than 3,000 IT professionals from nearly 1,000 firms.
The event includes sessions about the intelligent cloud platform, the Internet of Things suite with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, Windows servers and the commercial applications of the Windows 10 operating system.
Microsoft said that more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have at least one Microsoft enterprise cloud service.
With the speed cryptocurrency is emerging as the millennial generation’s alternative asset of choice in India, it is hard to imagine that just two years ago a couple of blockchain pioneers were briefly in police custody. Sathvik Vishwanath and Harish BV, cofounders of a then five-year-old start-up, were arrested in late 2018. No, they had not pulled off a shady initial coin offering. Their “crime” was that they put up a kiosk in a mall in Bangalore where customers could swap bitcoin, ether or ripple for cash or vice versa. That was the whole point of unocoin, their crypto token exchange.
A Chinese factory owned by South Korean semiconductor giant SK Hynix Inc yesterday halted operations after a plant worker was found to have an asymptomatic infection of COVID-19, Xinhua news agency reported. The South Korean worker based at the plant in Chongqing since February had departed on Thursday for South Korea, Xinhua reported. He was tested at Incheon Airport in Seoul and confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, it reported. All factory staff as well as staff and recent guests at the hotel where the worker lived have been isolated and given nucleic acid tests, the agency said. “We’re cooperating with the local government
FIVE NEW FABS: An acquisition of Siltronic would boost GlobalWafers’ market share from 17 to 30 percent, easily surpassing Japanese rival Sumco’s 25 percent GlobalWafers Inc (環球晶圓) yesterday said it is in final talks to acquire Germany-based Siltronic AG in a 3.75 billion euro (US$4.5 billion) deal, which might help it compete with its closest rival Sumco Corp of Japan. The acquisition would be the fifth for GlobalWafers since 2008, as it has grown to become the world’s No. 3 supplier of silicon wafers through such deals. GlobalWafers, which has a 17 percent market share, would see its market position greatly elevated to 30 percent when combined with Siltronic’s 13 percent, according to a presentation Siltronic gave to its investors at a quarterly conference in August. Sumco
A year of crisis for the lira has kept people in Turkey buying gold at a record pace. Now the appetite for more bullion risks becoming a drag on the currency just as a rally struggles to regain momentum. In the two weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cleared out the leadership ranks blamed for failing to stabilize the lira and draining reserves, Turkish retail investors and firms added US$2.2 billion to their gold holdings, taking them to US$36.4 billion, or almost triple the total last year, Turkish central bank data showed. People are not relenting in their zeal to own