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Fiat and Microsoft to launch Blue&Me
Open communication system at Geneva

APN,
1st February 2006.

It is not a new model to be presented at the 76th Geneva Motor Show (2-12 March 2006).

But it may be more important than that, as its innovation can be interesting for different car models, from different brands and... for different communication media.

The innovation in question is called Blue&MeTM, and will be presented as a world premiere by Fiat Auto. It is the first step in an industrial partnership signed in July 2004 between Fiat and Microsoft’s Automotive Business Unit, with the objective to co-design innovative automotive telematics systems.

Based on Windows Mobile™ for Automotive, Blue&Me is a new system designed to change the paradigms of communication and car infotainment. Easy to use, it is supposed to be accessible and competitive, making trips safer and more comfortable.

Blue&Me will be available exclusively on new Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo cars as well as on Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles. Grande Punto, Alfa Romeo 159, 159 Sportwagon, Brera and Spider will be equipped this spring, soon to be followed by the other models of Fiat Auto’s product range.

Based on Windows MobileTM for Automotive, Fiat Auto’s Blue&Me relies on a flexible, open system which is always upgradeable to stay up-to-date.

Being content modular, Blue&Me can be matched with a wide service offer. Instead of costly and rigid hardware, Fiat Auto and Microsoft - with the support of Magneti Marelli - will offer a platform that can be adapted to most mobile phones, digital media players and other mobile devices. The customer is free to change them with new models without compromising compatibility with the car.

More importantly, Blue&Me guarantees maximum security levels and user-friendliness. The voice-activated system, the complete integration of steering wheel control buttons and information on the dashboard display will allow users to utilize any Bluetooth® based mobile phone - also if this is in a pocket or handbag - without removing hands from the steering wheel.

Thanks to a modern voice-recognition system, no preliminary voice training is needed, and even incoming SMS are visualized and read.

Among audio functions, it is possible to listen to preferred music stored on a mobile phone, in the newest smart phones, and in MP3 readers or USB removable sticks. All this thanks to a USB port, in the glove box, which enables the connection to any digital device with the correspondent port.

The collaboration between Fiat and Microsoft allows Blue&Me to be based on an open platform, compatible with the largest number of devices such as mobile phones, Palms and MP3 players, with the benefit of continuously catching up with market innovations, thus maintaining the perfect integration with the car at an entry-level price.

A further short-term evolution will offer a particularly simple and interactive navigation system, and access to a set of services among which are a personal assistant to check addresses, weather and traffic forecasts, satellite localization in case of theft, SOS, and other services currently under development.

Since 1995, Microsoft’s Automotive Business Unit has worked with the auto industry on advanced in-car information, navigation and entertainment systems. Microsoft provides the automotive industry with its advanced telematics platform, Windows Automotive, and its technology is on the road today in 61 preinstalled and aftermarket devices from 18 automakers and suppliers, including BMW, Citroën, Clarion Co. Ltd., DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, NexTech, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo.

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