Windows Joins Apple, Google and BlackBerry in Connected Cars

By Rachel Ramsey April 07, 2014

Apple CarPlay, Android OS and BlackBerry’s QNX Software have all made noise in the connected car space. Last but not least, we have a Windows car-friendly interface.

Windows has actually been used in different car entertainment systems in the past – automakers Ford, Kia, BMW, Nissan and Fiat have used versions of the technology to power their interfaces and systems.

At last week’s Build conference, Microsoft unveiled Windows on Devices, the company’s strategy to bring Windows to the Internet of Things. The company also discussed its plans for the future of Windows in vehicles and concept design for Windows in the Car, which aims to display a phone screen on an in-vehicle display screen.

The current prototype uses the connectivity standard Mirrorlink, which connects smartphones and car infotainment systems. It uses IP connections, Bluetooth, USB and Wi-Fi among other Internet technologies for compatibility in devices, and uses Virtual Network Computing (VNC) to replicate a phone’s display on the navigation screen and initiate two-way communication between the devices. The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) offers standardized MirrorLink certification so only approved applications are accessible while driving.

With Windows in cars, users can check emails, messages and make calls through the dashboard. They can also see vital information like speed limit, navigation data, climate control and applications. App developers can have the option to design apps that enforce safe driving behaviors for when cars are and are not moving.

Check out what other the other major players are working on in the connected car space:

Some of these are more developed and sophisticated than others, but one thing is for certain: The future of the cars will absolutely be about blurring the lines between different platforms, like our smartphones and cars, and making them collaborative. The driving experience will become a seamless way for these devices and systems to communicate and transmit data, and make entertainment, navigation, communication and safety easy to use, predictive and feature-rich in vehicles. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

Content Director

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