BMW, Microsoft discuss partnership

BMW Manufacturing Corp. is discussing a partnership in an automotive research park with computer industry giant Microsoft Corp.

"There's definitely an interest there," Jim Bak, a spokesman for the company's Automotive Business Unit, said Wednesday. But he said there are no specific plans for an investment by the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker.

BMW has been talking with Microsoft about a possible partnership to develop new technology, said Bobby Hitt, a spokesman for the German automaker's plant in Greer.

"At this point, there are a lot of discussions, planning going on," Hitt said. "This is a worldwide discussion."

The two companies already have a business relationship. BMW uses Microsoft software in the control panel of the navigation system that goes in its 7-series vehicles.

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