Microsoft takes aim at Apple’s CarPlay with Windows in the car

Windows in the car

A few weeks after Apple announced plans to introduce iOS into cars through its CarPlay technology, arch rival Microsoft has shown its intent to take on in-car entertainment with a Windows Phone-centric car integration system.

Microsoft has been manufacturing in-car technology for years — USB ports with Windows connectivity logos signaled an in-car entertainment system built on a Windows platform and Ford Sync is built on the Windows Embedded Automotive system.

The new technology, which looks alarmingly like Apple’s CarPlay, was unveiled at the Microsoft Build Developer conference this week. Although still strictly in concept form, it is already being tested in some real life cars.

Tentatively dubbed Microsoft in the Car, the system essentially works as a mirror to what is already on your Windows Phone, allowing access to apps like Music, Spotify and Xbox radio on an in-dash screen as well as offering physical car settings such as air-conditioning control.

Microsoft in the Car, powered by Mirrorlink already has the support of a number of manufacturers, among them the automotive giants that are Volkswagen and Toyota (CarPlay has support from GM, Ferrari, Nissan and Hyundai, among others).

The system is effectively an extension of Windows Phone allowing developers to build car-specific apps, all of which carry heavy tones of Windows 9.

There is no timeline given for the launch of the new system, but Apple CarPlay is due to launch later this year and Microsoft is likely not far behind.

Matt Black


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