Microsoft Bringing Windows 8, Azure to Cars: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

A new Microsoft want ad indicates that the Redmond, Washington-based software giant is planning to bring Windows 8 and Kinect hands-free technology to the automotive market.

In a recent job notice placed on Microsoft's web site, the company notes that "for the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme." (Source:

Systems Keep Drivers in Touch Behind the Wheel

According to the job listing, Microsoft hopes to bring many of the features associated with these technologies -- including user identification systems and access to cloud computing platforms -- to automobile drivers and their passengers.

Microsoft has previously discussed bringing its products to the automotive market. Back in March, the company unveiled its "Project Detroit" custom Ford Mustang. Taken all together, the Kinect technology in that car allowed drivers to monitor the vehicle's systems and its surroundings.

In the future, the same kind of technology could be set up to allow drivers and passengers to utilize hand motions in space to control and interact with a vehicle's systems.

Microsoft's increasing presence in automobiles goes beyond Kinect, as well.

By introducing Windows 8, Windows Phone, Bing, and Azure to cars, the software giant is likely hoping to help drivers keep in touch with friends and family through on-board telecommunications and computer platforms.

As the Microsoft job ad indicates, these systems "will inform and entertain [drivers and passengers], and keep them connected with the people and information they care about." (Source:

Concerns About Safety Raised

These systems, known as automotive telematics, are designed to turn street vehicles into mobile office cubicles. For workaholics, that will probably sound like a fantastic idea.

But when so many distractions can be present for people behind the wheel of a car, it raises concerns about driver safety .

However, the Microsoft job ad briefly addresses these concerns by noting that the company's intended technologies "will learn [driver] habits, and offer personalized contextual information and driving assists to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible." (Source:

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