Now, more and more vehicles are embedding mobile interface functionality as part of environmental and entertainment controls. Those interfaces are hooks into how we conduct our daily lives, from driving to work, to taking the kids to school, or driving to pick up a hot date. Microsoft clearly wants to be a part of this.
Apple recently introduced CarPlay, and Google has an Android Open Automotive Alliance. Microsoft is an old hand in automotive “infotainment” with Ford’s SYNC being the most outward reflection of that Windows Embedded Compact (Windows CE) based platform, though BMW, Nissan and Fiat have also used variations of the system.
If you are thinking that sounds a bit dated, you are not alone. Company's like Ford are reportedly looking to transition away from Microsoft in favor of BlackBerry’s QNX platform. Microsoft is not bowing out of the game, however.
Last week at Build 2014, Microsoft shared some insight about what it has in mind for getting Windows in the car. It is part of the company’s “Internet of Things” initiative. Microsoft will be enabling “brought-in-devices” to its in-vehicle-infotainment system using standards-based connectivity, like MirrorLink.
The problem is not necessarily the mobile operating system, but the vehicle. Techno-hardware in a car never gets upgraded, so being able to address future needs without causing massive software burdens is a real challenge.
The user interface is pretty clean, consistent with the Windows “modern” experience. Microsoft is currently testing this new connected car concept. No timeline for deploying this new interface commercially was revealed.
You can see the connected car portion of the presentation at 25:48 into the video
source - Microsoft (Channel 9) | Engadget | The Verge