TomTom Partners With Microsoft to Offer Location Data for Azure

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Cloud, Microsoft with 11 Comments

TomTom and Microsoft are announcing a major new partnership this week. TomTom is partnering with Microsoft to work on Azure while choosing Azure as its preferred cloud provider.

As part of the partnership, TomTom will be providing its location data for Microsoft Azure and Bing Maps. Microsoft will then be using the data provided by TomTom for a range of its location-based services, including products like Azure Maps and Bing Maps. Microsoft said the company’s partnership with TomTom is “very different” from anything Microsoft has done in maps before.

TomTom will be using Azure to host their own services, and bringing their data to Azure will help Azure customers who rely heavily on location data that are constantly changing.

The deal is beneficial for both the companies. Microsoft’s Azure is growing ever so rapidly, and there is a clear demand for Azure. TomTom giving its location data to Azure will make Microsoft’s maps much better, an area where the company has never really shined (i.e. HERE Maps). And for TomTom, getting its services powered by Azure will help with the performance of the company’s services, and Microsoft is likely paying a lot for access to TomTom’s maps data, too.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “TomTom Partners With Microsoft to Offer Location Data for Azure”

  1. dcdevito

    This strategy is becoming clearer every day: gain highly beneficial, advantageous and profitable partnerships via a robust platform (Azure) and not serve the end client directly.

  2. Bats

    Is Satya channeling Steve Jobs in this photo? Funny, because unlike Jobs, Satya had accomplished anything yet for him to be silhouetted.

  3. timo47

    TomTom has been going through a rough period ever since a number of car manufacturers dropped them for in car navigation in lieu of Google maps. So I'm sure this deal is very welcome for them. Also, clever from Microsoft to approach them at a time when they are vulnerable.

    Yet I have to wonder what MS is planning to do with data. Bing Maps hasn't evolved in any meaningful way in the last couple of years. And without a mobile platform, the Maps app feels pretty dead as well. So what's the point?

    And let's not forget that MS already had an arrangement for maps data with Here as well.

    If MS were really serious about competing in the maps space, I would expect them to just buy Here and TomTom and come up with a serious competitor for Google Maps. Instead all these partnerships will probably just languish for a few years after which Nadella will come out and make the "courageous" decision to drop their own mapping solutions and just switch to Google maps.

    • bart

      In reply to timo47:

      Here is owned by a consortium of car manufacturers. Think Audi, BMW and Mercedes. So Here is not for sale, I am sure you understand why.

      Bing Maps needs a replacement for Here Maps data, TOMTOM is filling that void. Obviously MS could still partner with Here and have Here run on Azure instead of AWS. I am sure MS will take that opportunity if it arises

  4. Daekar

    This is big for me. Google Maps is probably the best, most sticky service Google offers, and some competition for it that is actually viable is something I've been hoping to see for years now. Here Maps is acceptable, especially since it offers walking directions based on offline maps (Google Maps DOESN'T do that, ask me how I know), but the UI isn't as good and the voice directions don't sound as natural. Any competing mapping resource other than Google is a good thing in my book.

  5. MutualCore

    Good, then they can rebrand as 'Microsoft Maps' and launch on iOS/Android.

    • rbgaynor

      In reply to MutualCore:

      Apple maps where I am in Southern California was always at least partially attributed to TomTom. Within the last couple of weeks Apple's new high quality mapping has gone live here and I would never want to have to go back to TomTom (or a mapping product based on TomTom).

  6. dontbe evil

    Is tomtom better than here maps?