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Microsoft Windows in the Car does what it says on the tin

Microsoft has been showing off its conceptual Windows in the Car infotainment system.

Windows Phone is slowly becoming a prominent player in the smartphone market, having weaned people off Android and iOS. Now the operating system hopes to conquer your car, too, with what Microsoft calls ‘Windows in the Car’.

Microsoft has been showing off Windows in the Car at its annual Build developer conference in San Francisco. The idea is to implement Windows Phone-esque features inside the car such as apps like Spotify, TuneIn Radio and Nokia Drive sat nav plus the ability to read out messages aloud. Think of it as a Microsoft version of Apple CarPlay.

Windows in the Car goes deeper than just providing media entertainment. In the demo you can see a speed limit is displayed to the left of your phone contacts on the Start screen. A warning you are 0.5 miles away from an active school zone can also be seen.

The user-interface design is a cross between the Windows 8 desktop software and Windows Phone. It features voice control so you keep can keep your hands on the steering wheel as much as possible. Microsoft’s new ‘Cortana‘ personal assistant, Siri-equivalent is likely to take up the reigns.

It may seem like a random foray for Microsoft, but the company has in fact been building car infotainment systems for many years. Windows CE and Windows Automotive, for example, can already be found inside certain BMW, Fiat, Ford, Kia and Nissan vehicles.

Windows in the Car is merely a concept at this stage so there’s no discussion yet on whether car manufacturers can and will adopt the new system. Given the level of effort on Microsoft’s part it is more than likely to become a production reality. When exactly is yet to be confirmed.

Check out the demo of Windows in the Car from the 2014 Build conference below.

Microsoft Windows in the Car video


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