HereMapsEndWindowsSupportHereofficial

[UPDATE 03.01.2016 – 19:17 CET] Intel has confirmed to take a 15 percent stake in mapping service HERE. While no official numbers of the investments have been disclosed, the stake would be worth approximately US$390 million in today’s currency.

In conjunction with Intel’s acquisition of a 15% stake in HERE, the two companies also “signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving.” The two companies also plan to jointly “explore strategic opportunities that result from enriching edge-computing devices with location data.”

Here are the core facts of the deal, you can also read the announcement from HERE for some more details:

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  • “Intel is acquiring a 15 percent ownership stake in HERE, a global provider of digital maps and location-based services for automotive and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Companies plan to jointly develop a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high-definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving as well as explore opportunities in IoT and machine learning.
  • HERE will add Intel’s nominee to its Supervisory Board of Directors when the transaction closes, which is expected in the first quarter of 2017.”

[03.01.2016 – 15:45 CET] Chip maker Intel has filed to take an indirect stake in digital mapping company HERE. The US-based company is currently seeking approval to make the investment in HERE International B.V. If approved, Intel will become an indirect partner in the company, which is controlled by German automobile manufacturers Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen.

While neither company has officially comment on the matter, it makes sense for Intel to be seeking a stake in HERE. The company has already made movements towards connected cars and autonomous vehicles. Indeed, Intel partnered with BMW and Mobileye in July to help the carmaker develop self-driving vehicles by 2021.

Just last week, HERE and Mobileye announced a separate partnership. The new collaboration will see HERE’s HD Live Map integrated with Mobileye’s Roadblock and REM technology. Live roadside monitoring and data from Mobileye will be accessible to HERE because of this deal.

Microsoft has maintained its own strong ties with HERE, even if relations are not as close as they once were. When Nokia owned the mapping service, it was the de facto maps packing for Windows-based smartphones. Indeed, the Finnish company developed HERE to become one of the only competing alternatives to Google Maps.

In December, Microsoft announced a multi-year commercial agreement with HERE. The company will get access to the mapping platform and data. Microsoft will encorporate the technology into services such as Bing Maps and Cortana. Developers will be able to access HERE data through the Bing Maps API in the Azure Marketplace.

No Windows Support

Of course, Nokia grew HERE while developing smartphones specifically for the Windows Phone platform. However, despite Microsoft maintaining ties with the service since its sale to the German car brands, HERE is no longer part of the Windows fabric.

The service was pulled from Windows 10 Mobile. A service that has become synonymous with Windows Phone was pulling up and leaving. It was a stark reminder that getting major developer support has been a problem for Microsoft’s mobile platform.

It also forced the company to get more creative with its own Microsoft Maps service. The app was given a overhaul to help it compete with HERE and Google Maps.

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