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Microsoft Maps

Microsoft Maps

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Microsoft Maps Corp. has begun showing U.S. automakers an alternative to in-car navigation and assistance now offered exclusively by General Motor Corp.'s OnStar communications service.

The Microsoft Maps voice-recognition software, displayed at an auto industry conference Tuesday, allows mobile telephone users to receive spoken data from Microsoft's Tellme database.

Microsoft's service, which would connect through a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone in the car, could challenge Detroit-based GM's digital subscriber-based wireless system, which costs as much as $324 a year and has almost 5-million subscribers. Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, said the system could be paired with digital music and mobile phone software known as Sync to be offered by Ford Motor Co. on its 2008 Ford Focus.
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