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Microsoft prototypes Windows OS for car infotainment

Posted: 11 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft  Windows in the Car  car infotainment  smartphone  MirrorLink 

Microsoft has demonstrated a prototype for a software that brings the Windows user interface with its characteristic tiles to car infotainment systems. According to the company, this move allows the software to be visible within automobiles for the first time.

Former versions of Microsoft OS (Windows Automotive Embedded, a modified version of Windows CE) acted as a platform for carmakers to implement their own user interface. Examples are Fiat's 'Blue and Me' or Ford's SYNC. In contrast, the latest version shows Microsoft's own look-and-feel. Reportedly the software utilises the MirrorLink technology to integrate a smartphone into the vehicle. Running the head unit, Windows in the Car allows users to play music stored on the smartphone while displaying the associated the respective cover photos. Likewise, the software can tap the contact list stored in the smartphone and establishes phone calls. To maintain driving safety and avoid driver distraction, application developers will have the possibility to deactivate their apps in 'drive' mode.

At the developers conference, also a map functionality has been shown (from Microsoft's Bing) but it remains unclear to which extent it will be used for navigation purposes; during the presentation the software crashed.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
  EE Times Europe

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