Microsoft today announced that it will expand its automotive business unit with a number of new interface software systems and electronic services expected to be rolled out over the next couple of years. The first of these new features will be the immediate availability of ‘Microsoft Live Search for Devices,’ a system that will allow drivers to search for nearby businesses using information gathered from their vehicle’s satellite navigation system.

The software giant is already tied with a number of major carmakers including Ford and Fiat, helping them to advance the roll out of advanced connectivity and infotainment systems for vehicles. One of the most popular systems currently on the market is Ford’s Sync interface, which allows drivers to control their cell phones, music players and navigation systems with voice commands.

Microsoft’s auto business is now working on a new platform targeted for release in 2009 that will integrate a number of its current in-vehicle products into a single system. Furthermore, Microsoft is also partnering with a number of new carmakers, such as Hyundai, to help increase the adoption rate of its new platform. Hyundai will debut its system initially in its North American models around 2010 and will eventually spread it across to global markets with Europe and Asia to follow soon after.