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Microsoft shows off new 'Windows in the car' concept to take on Apple's CarPlay

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Software giant Microsoft is planning to revamp its in-car offerings after suffering setbacks with the existing Sync platform, unveiling a new "Windows in the car" initiative at the company's annual Build conference in San Francisco.




Microsoft's new automotive platform sports a similar architecture to Apple's CarPlay, using a mobile device running Windows Phone to power the in-car display. The system, which the company says is still a concept, was demonstrated last week by Microsoft product executive Steve Teixeira and first noticed by The Verge.

Visually, the system looks like a cross between Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Microsoft's famous Live Tiles have been included, and the touch-targeted interface is paginated to allow for expandability. Users can also enjoy what Teixeira calls "a really nifty swishy sound" when moving between pages.

According to Teixeira, Windows in the car will be open to both third-party developers and automobile manufacturers. During one demonstation, the system was shown with the ability to control vehicle functions -- such as turning on and off a defrosting system and tuning the radio -- and displaying hyper-localized navigation information like whether or not the vehicle was currently in a school zone.



"There's this opportunity for application developers to also participate in this ecosystem in a couple of different ways," Teixeira said. "You can imagine that, maybe if my car's in park, I can run any kind of arbitrary app, you know, project that up to this screen. But if my car's in drive mode, one of the things that we will aim to do is enable application builders to write apps that conform with good, safe drive mode behavior and safe drive mode user interface standards."

Microsoft has been testing the concept in both simulators and real-world vehicles, with one slide in the presentation showing badges from marques Ford, Kia, BMW, Nissan, and Fiat. Windows in the car is based on the industry standard MirrorLink protocol, which likely opens the door to aftermarket adoption as well due to the variety of automotive electronics manufacturers -- including Sony and Alpine -- that have committed to ship products compatible with the standard.

Though there is no word on when Windows in the car will be available, its debut comes less than two months after Microsoft's existing in-car platform, Sync, was dealt a body blow. Automotive behemoth Ford, Microsoft's largest partner for Sync, announced in February that it would stop producing Sync-equipped vehicles and instead turn to a new BlackBerry-built system.

Apple's own infotainment system, CarPlay, was officially announced by the company in March at the Geneva Motor Show. A rebranding of the "iOS in the Car" functionality unveiled by the company last year, CarPlay will debut in select vehicles this year from partners Volvo, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Hyundai, and Ferrari. Future partners include Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Kia, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and more.
post #2 of 99
"powerpoint" does not an operating system make....
post #3 of 99
One thing I'd like to see from in-car information systems would be the inclusion of the currently posted legal speed limit for the location being traveled.

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post #4 of 99
Microsoft really are keen to find away to get into 'mobile' aren't they?
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #5 of 99

Will you be able to plug in a mouse and keyboard to get "real work" done?

post #6 of 99

The only original thought the company has ever had and they completely ruin it by deciding to still copy everything done by everyone else immediately after.

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post #7 of 99
Ok, one clear criteria to find out the cars I will NOT buy, under any circumstances

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post #8 of 99

This is the Old PC model, that Microsoft was so successful at.

Take expensive hardware, add software that makes it easier to use, charge the OEM, not the consumer.

 

If this was old microsoft, Ballmer would be  telling everyone that 'once Microsoft ships, everyone will see how crappy the current software is,' and ship basically the same stuff but specific to support only MS products (See NT, Win95, LongHorn).

 

Shipping concept at this point the the game will be the death knell to MS however,   Google (with perpetual beta), and Apple (don't announce until you're ready to ship), make for real products, in a competitive auto marketplace.

 

I still shake my head at Ford choosing BBY's system... Other than QNX being rock solid, I think this speaks volumes of the relationship between Ford and MS, and less about BBY being the right interface (other than Ford can always buy BBY if they fail, and take it in house).

post #9 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Microsoft really are keen to find away to get into 'mobile' aren't they?

"Windows in the Car" - another double meaning? 

CarPlay is a bit of an unfortunate name, driving is a responible activity, and you shouldn't really call products that go in the car "play."

post #10 of 99
I will not buy a car that has MS or Android in it!
post #11 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

The only original thought the company has ever had and they completely ruin it by deciding to still copy everything done by everyone else immediately after.

But it's the microsoft way...  ours does EVERYTHING... why choose theirs?

 

Eventually everything is nothing.  Supporting a physical keyboard, stylus, and mouse  and touch commands, doesn't solve problems.. it creates them.   This is what happened to NT.  A great OS to begin with, is suffered 10 years because it had to support 'everything back to DOS 6.0, and Win 95, as well as be a better Unix than Linus, and  do Object Orientation (real object orientation, not object drawing programming), and support.

 

I use Excel 2010 as a condition of my employment.   I often do all my setup and D/E work in Excel 2003 or even Numbers, and then port it over, because it's easier than working in the current environment.   Crazy.   It's backwards. 

post #12 of 99
Microsoft couldn't exist if it weren't for Apple.
post #13 of 99

My car already has all the windows it needs. 

 

And they aren't poorly-designed or maddeningly frustrating. 

post #14 of 99

Why would you want live tiles in a car?

 

So you can crash when distracted by Facebook updates?

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post #15 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post
 

My car already has all the windows it needs. 

 

And they aren't poorly-designed or maddeningly frustrating. 

 

The windows of my car contain live weather updates, traffic updates, directions and speed limit notifications they even contain advertising provided by billboards.

 

They also work as a primitive form of air conditioning when wound up and down.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #16 of 99
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post
My car already has all the windows it needs. And they aren't poorly-designed or maddeningly frustrating. 

 

And they tend not to break as often.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #17 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
 

This is the Old PC model, that Microsoft was so successful at.

Take expensive hardware, add software that makes it easier to use, charge the OEM, not the consumer.

 

If this was old microsoft, Ballmer would be  telling everyone that 'once Microsoft ships, everyone will see how crappy the current software is,' and ship basically the same stuff but specific to support only MS products (See NT, Win95, LongHorn).

 

Shipping concept at this point the the game will be the death knell to MS however,   Google (with perpetual beta), and Apple (don't announce until you're ready to ship), make for real products, in a competitive auto marketplace.

 

I still shake my head at Ford choosing BBY's system... Other than QNX being rock solid, I think this speaks volumes of the relationship between Ford and MS, and less about BBY being the right interface (other than Ford can always buy BBY if they fail, and take it in house).


That was misreported.  If you look a few days later after the rash of Ford is dropping Microsoft stories, you will find the muffled updates...  Basically, what is happening is that Ford is spec'ing out the next version - and so, they will be taking bids on suppliers for the next version - as happens with every new version.  So, basically, this is a normal RFQ process.  They may end up still using MS - or not.  Just depends on the bids.

post #18 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

"Windows in the Car" - another double meaning? 

CarPlay is a bit of an unfortunate name, driving is a responible activity, and you shouldn't really call products that go in the car "play."

I see your point but then again Apple probably wanted the name to reflect that it worked more or less the same as AirPlay.

P.S. I find it strange that Microsoft would go with Windows in the Car as brand name. Why not just use the old Sync name and thus launch it as a new and improved Sync. The Windows in the Car name has too much of a 'me to' feeling, while Microsoft actually already made an attempt at this.

post #19 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzell View Post

Microsoft couldn't exist if it weren't for Apple.


Yeah, MS just put together that concept, started testing in simulators, started working with partners, all since carplay was announced.

 

The reality is that this must have been in the works for some time. 

post #20 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

One thing I'd like to see from in-car information systems would be the inclusion of the currently posted legal speed limit for the location being traveled.


Based on one of the screen shots in the demo - I think this does.

post #21 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post
 

I see your point but then again Apple probably wanted the name to reflect that it worked more or less the same as AirPlay.

Yep, that must have been what they were thinking.

post #22 of 99
Hate to say it, the UI is not as grotesque and tacky as CarPlay. Looks to have better features too.
post #23 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

I see your point but then again Apple probably wanted the name to reflect that it worked more or less the same as AirPlay.
P.S. I find it strange that Microsoft would go with Windows in the Car as brand name. Why not just use the old Sync name and thus launch it as a new and improved Sync. The Windows in the Car name has too much of a 'me to' feeling, while Microsoft actually already made an attempt at this.
Because sync sucked so bad not even Microsoft wants any part of it. Seriously, we had our eyes set on the ford edge until the salesman pointed out the great sync feature from microsoft. He couldn't understand why we no longer wanted to test drive.
post #24 of 99
ugh. we want big big icons. no more than 6 on a screen.
post #25 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingela View Post

Hate to say it, the UI is not as grotesque and tacky as CarPlay. Looks to have better features too.
How exactly is the CarPlay UI tacky?
post #26 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

Why would you want live tiles in a car?

 

So you can crash when distracted by Facebook updates?

Yes, that is a very busy interface with lots and lots of options. True MS. Lets not forget all the options!

 

But I love the swishy sound! Awesome innovation.

post #27 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlack View Post

ugh. we want big big icons. no more than 6 on a screen.
There's a reason car infotainment systems look the way they do. Too much information on the screen is not a good thing.
post #28 of 99

Disaster waiting to happen.

Viruses and badly written programs in the car.

This is a big safety hazzard I hope all cars are marked as such so you could avoid them.

post #29 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

One thing I'd like to see from in-car information systems would be the inclusion of the currently posted legal speed limit for the location being traveled.

How about drones that are linked to your map directions, current GPS location, and that maintain a certain distance ahead of you with a camera system and on-board system designed for "law enforcement recognition" so you know when you need to slow down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

Disaster waiting to happen.
Viruses and badly written programs in the car.
This is a big safety hazzard I hope all cars are marked as such so you could avoid them.

I don't see that as an issue. This appears to work just like CarPlay in that the UI is being sent via the Windows Phone to overlay on the car's in-dash system. This doesn't appear to be another Ford SYNC.

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post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


How exactly is the CarPlay UI tacky?

Jobs once said MS lacked taste. Now with him gone so is his taste. The CarPlay UI is inelegant and tacky. May be tolerable on a lime green iPhone 5c, but certainly not the inside of a luxury car. 

post #31 of 99
Microsoft bringing up the tail with the "me too" implementation. Seriously, Apple announced this what, two years ago? Forstall introduced it. How are these companies so unoriginal?
post #32 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

One thing I'd like to see from in-car information systems would be the inclusion of the currently posted legal speed limit for the location being traveled.


Based on one of the screen shots in the demo - I think this does.

I like the idea but where does it get the data from? If it is not supplied in real time from the local authority it is not valid. 

 

If you can't rely on its accuracy it shouldn't be included. 

 

I had an idea to have RF tags in the street and a sensor on the car. If the local authorities want to change the speed limit then they are responsible for changing the tags. Ideally these tags could be dynamic and reprogrammable so if there was bad weather, or construction, or if they want the speed limit lower at night, or when school children are present, they could be instantly updated. The post signs would need to either go away or become dynamic as well though in order for a the system to work. Probably too expensive to implement, plus there are several patents for this type of system.

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post #33 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I like the idea but where does it get the data from? If it is not supplied in real time from the local authority it is not valid. 

 

If you can't rely on its accuracy it shouldn't be included. 

 

I had an idea to have RF tags in the street and a sensor on the car. If the local authorities want to change the speed limit then they are responsible for changing the tags. Ideally these tags could be dynamic and reprogrammable so if there was bad weather, or construction, or if they want the speed limit lower at night, or when school children are present, they could be instantly updated. The post signs would need to either go away or become dynamic as well though in order for a the system to work. Probably too expensive to implement, plus there are several patents for this type of system.


I don't know how they know this, beyond, it seems to be part of the mapping data - because, Nokia Here displays this information as well.  I figure that it's not much of an issue - speed limits don't really change often...   And, of course, the normal caveats of using any mapping system apply - the system is supposed to be an aid, not a replacement for your own brain and common sense.

post #34 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has been testing the concept in both simulators and real-world vehicles, with one slide in the presentation showing badges from marques Ford, Kia, BMW, Nissan, and Fiat. Windows in the car is based on the industry standard MirrorLink protocol, which likely opens the door to aftermarket adoption as well due to the variety of automotive electronics manufacturers -- including Sony and Alpine -- that have committed to ship products compatible with the standard.

The only thing I wish CarPlay would have had.  To be more specific- I think Apple should have made their own- because 3rd parties always screw it up.  A continual upgrade cycle that is easily changeable every 1-3 years.  Continual revenue stream, new market, etc.

 

I don't see how that could be worse than only offering it to OEMs without any ability to upgrade the hardware later.  Of course, I do admit, I'm just a forum contributor (debatable)- so take it for what it is.  ;) 

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post #35 of 99

My other auto speed related idea is one that would allow for programmable cruise control settings. The purpose is to preset 5 or so speed settings that correspond to the typical speed limits in your city. For example in the US we have 25, 30, 40, 50, 65mph as common posted limits. Then through the use of the same steering column mounted control you could toggle through them and they would display on the screen. That way you don't have to continually monitor your speed, allowing you to focus on the road instead of the speedometer.

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post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post
 
 And, of course, the normal caveats of using any mapping system apply - the system is supposed to be an aid, not a replacement for your own brain and common sense.

Sure but having a map take you down a one way street the wrong way is considered a very serious problem. I would imagine erroneous posted speed data could be just as hazardous.

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post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

One thing I'd like to see from in-car information systems would be the inclusion of the currently posted legal speed limit for the location being traveled.

VW's navigation systems already do this.

post #38 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzell View Post

Microsoft couldn't exist if it weren't for Apple.

 

Funny how what goes around comes around isn’t it.

post #39 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

VW's navigation systems already do this.


That doesn't surprise me.  Since, I'm pretty sure that VW uses Nokia's Here data (something like 80% of in car navigation system do) - and the Nokia Here apps on Windows Phone show this data as well.

post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post
 

That doesn't surprise me.  Since, I'm pretty sure that VW uses Nokia's Here data (something like 80% of in car navigation system do) - and the Nokia Here apps on Windows Phone show this data as well.

How many people get their nav data live in their in-car system? Not very many I would suspect. Most people don't update their map data ever. For my BMW they charged me $200 to upgrade my onboard map data. I had to do it because so many highway on ramp location around LA have been redesigned that I was constantly missing exits. Although speed limits don't change that often I would not trust the data if it was a year or two old. 

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