In a press release today, Directed Electronics announced that it has been working with Microsoft to bring its Viper SmartStart automotive app, which allows users to lock/unlock, and of course, start their vehicle via smartphone, to the Windows Phone platform "later in the year."  In conjunction with the announcement, Microsoft representatives demonstrated a beta version for those in attendance at the BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA. 

"We're very excited about partnering with Microsoft to extend Viper SmartStart products to the Windows Phone 7 platform," said Mike Simmons, Executive VP of Directed Electronics. "Our developers were able to quickly bring the app to Windows Phone 7 because they are so familiar with the Microsoft environment."

SmartStart, created by the same Viper brand of car alarms and other accessories, has a wide range of other smartphone-based apps for the car and home, though it's not clear from the press release if all of them are equally as close to arriving for WP7.  You can see a demo of the various functions on their website.

Aside from the clear convenience of what this app brings to users, what is even more interesting is what else Simmons had to say: "We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft in other areas, including jointly developing advanced solutions for the cloud connected car."  We have seen how Microsoft has been expanding and integrating SkyDrive into Mango, so could this mean such things as cloud-based music playback for the car?  This could take the Windows brand beyond just the PC\Phone\Gaming unification that we already know is coming.

Source: PRNewsWire