The first in-car PC running on Windows CE went on sale last week in the US. The AutoPC offers Email, entertainment and in-car navigation, but is available on the west coast of the US only.
The AutoPC is powered by Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, originally designed for use in handheld PCs.
The AutoPC is part of Microsoft's attempt to spread the use of the CE operating system to a wide variety of appliances.
Microsoft will have a good head start on the market, according to analysts.
Ford, IBM, Sun and Intel are all closely looking at in-car PCs.
The AutoPC slides into the dashboard, much like current car stereo systems, and is voice activated. An infra-red link enables consumers to transfer data from their palmtop PCs into the Auto PC, which is also be capable of making phone calls.
Ford is planning to use a similar system made by Visteon in its cars.
Although details have not yet been revealed, Visteon claims it will offer more features than the AutoPC. Sources close to the company said it will be out by the middle of next year.
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