Toyota, Microsoft beef up Gazoo.com Internet service

| Friday, April 26, 2013, 9:17 p.m.

Toyota is teaming up with Microsoft for an Internet service that links cars, home computers and smartphones so users can find nearby tourist spots, connect on social networks and learn about new models. The service will start in Japan on May 30 as a beefed up version of Toyota's Internet service called Gazoo.com, and will be based on “cloud” computing from Microsoft Corp. According to the software giant, it is the first time the technology is being used for a major corporate site.

Gazoo.com users tripled over the last five years to 1.65 million. Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it wants to raise that to 2 million over the next year. The Japanese automaker hopes to woo younger Japanese, who are losing interest in buying cars.

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