Microsoft Unveils Windows 7 For Cars

Dennis Faas's picture

On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled Windows Embedded Automotive 7, a Windows platform specially built for use in new vehicles.

The system includes several new features that should drastically enhance the driving experience, including speech recognition operations, touch screen controls, hands-free Bluetooth, and perhaps most unique of all, entertainment and information options ranging from satellite maps to music and third-party applications.

Bringing Tech Together Behind the Wheel

Gartner Industry Advisory Service Manufacturing group vice president Thilo Koslowski says the use of a Windows 7 variant in automobiles is part of a growing push by consumers for in-car information and entertainment features at the touch of a button.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding access to new multimedia content, productivity solutions, and connected services for entertainment and communication from their in-vehicle systems, similar to what they expect from their other devices," Koslowski said. (Source:

Microsoft Silverlight a Key Part in Windows Embedded Media

Microsoft multimedia framework software Silverlight will be a key part of the Automotive platform for Windows Embedded, the company said. Silverlight will help car makers produce applications employing two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics, features that could figure in prominently with a new wave of highway navigation products.

Microsoft's Tellme speech recognition technology will also be a part of the Windows Embedded system in automotives. Tellme will recognize a range of different languages, including American English, UK English, German, Mexican Spanish, continental European Spanish, French-Canadian and continental French and Korean.

Nissan, Microsoft Turning Over a New 'Leaf'

There are key differences between Windows Embedded Automotive 7 and the Windows 7 we use on home and business PCs. Although it's likely the auto-based operating system will share many features with the more familiar version of Windows 7, it won't include the reams of unwieldy code found there.

It's expected the first vehicle to use Windows Embedded Automotive 7 will be the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car. Tech pundits are already crossing their fingers in hopes that the Blue Screen of Death doesn't strike while drivers barrel down I-75 at 90 miles per hour. (Source:

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