Microsoft has already proven its interest in cars a few years ago, after developing the 2007 software for the Ford Sync interface. Microsoft announced last week the release of Windows Embedded Automotive 7. The new program is said to be three generations ahead of the old 2007 Sync program, and that it is much easier for manufacturers to develop their own layouts for the interface.
The Windows Embedded Automotive 7 was developed focusing on voice-activation and hands-free technology as well so the interface can be navigated without the need for drivers to take their hands off the wheel. The system is currently ready to be adapted to a car. It's now up to manufacturers to take it on board.
Walter Sullivan, a senior program manager for Microsoft, said in recent interview with Automotive News,
"All that's left for the carmaker, or their supplier, is the work of adapting it for a particular vehicle or a particular device in the vehicle."
Sullivan also said that these technologies do take time, adding,
"The complexity of the systems is substantial, and the amount of testing that they go through with these systems requires a significant engineering cycle."
Microsoft has also said the Windows Embedded Automotive 7 is also developed to be used with Microsoft's Silverlight, a kind of Adobe Flash equivalent which provides rich graphics and animations throughout user navigation. This system is also said to be much easier for manufacturers to use when customising layouts and platforms.
Expect the new Windows Embedded Automotive 7 program in cars very soon. Car makers that have previously used Microsoft Windows Embedded technologies include, Kia's Uvo, Ford's Sync, Fiat's Blue&Me and the main touch screen interface on the all-new Nissan Leaf.
Check out the video below for more details about Windows Embedded Automotive 7, and how manufacturers will be able to customise it for each car.