Microsoft revs up Windows for cars

Microsoft revs up Windows for cars

Hopefully no crashes

Microsoft's Automotive business unit today took the brakes off its Windows Mobile for Automotive software platform designed to power in-car "infotainment systems".

The software giant is exhibiting at the 2006 Geneva International Motor Show alongside Fiat Group which unveiled Blue&Me, the first in-car infotainment system based on Windows Mobile for Automotive.

Blue&Me allows motorists to use voice commands to operate mobile phones, digital music players and other devices.

The system supports hands-free communication for other mobile phones via Bluetooth, and can connect with a variety of personal music players and other devices through USB.

"The digital lifestyle is about staying connected with people and information, and enjoying digital entertainment wherever you are, even in the car," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.

Giuseppe Bonollo, vice president of product portfolio management at Fiat Auto, added: "By partnering with Microsoft we have been able to design, test and deliver a new in-car infotainment system in less than two years."

Bonollo claimed that similar systems would be incorporated into every new Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo over the next few years.