Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of its software platform that enables motor manufacturers to build web services and Bluetooth into cars.
The Windows Automotive 4.2. platform, based on embedded operating system Windows CE .Net 4.2, is its first automotive-specific platform to natively support voice- and data-enabled Bluetooth and the Microsoft .Net Compact Framework.
It is designed to allow the car industry to provide drivers and passengers with hands-free communication, access to web services (such as news), diagnostic information for maintenance and wireless synchronisation of data with mobile devices.
"This new platform marks a milestone in the advancement of our initiative to enable the connected car," said Dick Brass, vice president of technology development at Microsoft, in a statement.
"Working with industry partners, we can continue to bridge the connectivity gap and develop safe, reliable, advanced in-car communication systems that will enable consumers to use their drive-time wisely and bring new revenue streams to auto makers."
The latest embedded Windows operating system supports wireless technologies such as Bluetooth version 1.1 and IEEE 802.11 and 802.1x.
The platform delivers media content and web browsing with Internet Explorer 6.0 for Windows CE.
Safety features include hands-free communication with Speech Application Programming Interface 5.0, customisable developer tools, and controls to help ensure the in-car devices do not distract drivers.
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