QNX Displaces Windows 8 Inside the 'Connected' Car

Dennis Faas's picture

A recent study by Gartner found that Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile platform has now surpassed BlackBerry in smartphone market share.

But there's hope yet for the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm: the company is rapidly preparing itself to take advantage of the 'connected' car revolution.

It's expected that BlackBerry's mobile operating system, QNX, will be the key to connecting drivers' smartphones to their in-car infotainment systems.

Inside the Car: QNX Eclipsing Windows

QNX is slowly but steadily taking over as the dominant platform for connecting mobile devices to a vehicle. The reason: many automotive manufacturers prefer the QNX platform to Windows CE, which until recently had been the default operating system inside many cars.

A major advantage of QNX is that it's a distributed operating system, meaning anyone can license it from BlackBerry to produce their own applications. That makes using it easier and extremely appealing for developers.

Some automotive insiders have suggested that the problem with Windows 8 isn't its user interface -- which is specifically tailored to touch screen displays like those seen in many new cars -- but could be the result of the operating system's relatively closed-source nature.

Simply put, unlike the Unix-style QNX platform, Windows 8 isn't optimized for this kind of development. (Source: digitaltrends.com)

QNX Surge Could Result in BlackBerry Turnaround

For BlackBerry, the benefits of this trend could be huge. Good press for QNX -- which BlackBerry acquired three years ago -- is good press for the BlackBerry smartphone.

It's also likely that having QNX on your smartphone and in your car's infotainment system could make for a more seamless integration experience, making it easier to transfer music, videos, and navigation directions from one platform to the next.

Even better, such integration could also make it easier for BlackBerry owners to update the firmware on their car's infotainment system and find out why their "check engine" light just came on. (Source: autonet.ca)

For BlackBerry, all of this is welcome news. Insiders speculate that we could start to see a QNX takeover of automotive entertainment systems within the next two to three years.

That can only help a QNX-based smartphone that has seen its share of the smartphone market slip to just 3 per cent.

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