• Oct 20th 2010 at 9:01AM
  • 28
2011 Nissan Leaf interior – Click above for high-res image gallery

All the fancy new technology buried deep inside the guts of today's latest crop of cars and trucks needs some serious software magic to function properly, and Microsoft is one of the leading suppliers of bits and bytes in the automotive realm. Carmakers like Fiat, Ford, Kia and Nissan are all using software sourced from the Redmond-based tech giant.

Windows Embedded Automotive 7 introduces new technologies such as Silverlight, which allows for 2D and 3D graphics improvements, and Tellme speech technology, which allows real-time text-to-speech technology and the ability to respond to text messages using spoken input.

Another interesting tidbit officially revealed by Microsoft today is that the 2011 Nissan Leaf touchscreen information hub (shown above) is, in fact, powered by Windows Embedded Automotive technology. Drivers will get a navigation system along with an electricity charging station locator, a power consumption monitor and in-car climate monitoring. Want more? Check out the full press release after the break.

[Source: Microsoft via Engadget]
Show full PR text
Microsoft Drives the Future of In-Vehicle Infotainment

Release of Windows Embedded Automotive 7 gives car makers and suppliers the tools, technology and flexibility to transform the in-car experience.

DETROIT, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the SAE Convergence 2010 Conference and Exhibition, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Windows Embedded Automotive 7 to select car makers and suppliers in the automotive industry. Designed to support the development of new infotainment systems, Windows Embedded Automotive 7 is an industry-leading platform providing integrated services for communication, entertainment, navigation and information for the mass market.

With Windows Embedded Automotive 7, car makers and suppliers have access to Microsoft's latest tools and technology, as well as a worldwide partner ecosystem, which allows them to quickly create in-vehicle experiences that are easier to use and more engaging for drivers and passengers. Key features include speech commands, touch input, hands-free Bluetooth phone communications, advanced dashboard systems for access to music, maps, third-party apps and navigation, and streamlined connectivity with other devices.

"Microsoft deeply understands that technology collaboration is paramount to the evolution of integrated, in-vehicle infotainment systems," said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft. "We are excited to create new opportunities with Windows Embedded Automotive 7 working with our broad ecosystem of partners to bring the best in entertainment and productivity solutions to drivers and passengers around the world."

Additional Windows Embedded Automotive 7 features include the following:

Silverlight for Windows Embedded. Silverlight for Windows Embedded gives car makers the ability to quickly create rich device user experiences with engaging 2-D and 3-D graphics by using a familiar Microsoft technology and taking advantage of a large ecosystem of Microsoft Silverlight designers. Experiences built in Silverlight for Windows Embedded can be refined rapidly on the desktop and deployed unchanged to the target device facilitating flawless delivery from designer to developer.

Microsoft Tellme speech technology. Microsoft Tellme speech technology powers simple and hands-free system commands such as allowing the entire interface to be driven through speech. In addition, new support for SMS reply by voice allows text message replies to be constructed by speech. Windows Embedded Automotive 7 also supports eight languages: U.S. English, U.K. English, German, Mexican Spanish, Continental Spanish, Canadian French, Continental French and Korean.

Next-generation automotive system tools. New tools for developers support the stable integration of advanced, high-performance, third-party systems and include improved test modules with easy-to-use product engineering guidelines to help simplify the development process, increase reliability and speed time to market.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding access to new multimedia content, productivity solutions, and connected services for entertainment and communication from their in-vehicle system, similar to what they expect from their other devices," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president in the Industry Advisory Service Manufacturing group at Gartner Inc. "To build and deploy compelling in-vehicle infotainment system, experienced technology partners, car makers and suppliers must come together. The result of these collaborations turn the automobile into a seamless extension of the digital lifestyle."

Strong Partnerships and Momentum for the Road Ahead

Drivers and passengers today can experience Windows Embedded Automotive in more than 80 vehicle models worldwide through solutions from partners including Ford Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Paccar Inc., and Alpine Electronics Inc. Highlights include the following:

Ford goes global with SYNC. This month, Ford announced that MyFord Touch, the second generation of Ford SYNC, built on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, is launching in Europe and Asia early next year. SYNC has been installed in more than 2.5 million vehicles in North America since its launch in 2007.

Nissan LEAF information hub. Today, Microsoft also announced that the 2011 Nissan LEAF touchscreen information hub is powered by Windows Embedded Automotive technology, providing drivers and passengers with a navigation system and electricity charging station locator. It also shares power consumption monitoring information with drivers, and enables easy in-car climate monitoring.

Fiat. Fiat Group Automobiles is bringing the Fiat 500 to the North American market in 2010. The 500 includes Fiat's Blue&Me technology, powered by Microsoft, a media gateway that integrates mobile phones and digital music players into audio system and controls of the car, allowing voice control of these devices by the driver.

Alpine. Alpine Electronics of America Inc. delivered advanced in-vehicle navigation systems, powered by Windows Embedded Automotive, to car manufacturers, including satellite-guided, turn-by-turn directions and useful features, such as voice-guided controls, and information on more than 7 million points of interest.

More information is available from the Windows Embedded Newsroom at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/embedded/default.aspx or by following MSFTWEB on Twitter for updates.

More information on the capabilities and features of Windows Embedded Automotive 7, as well as the entire Windows Embedded portfolio of platforms and technologies, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow...brings new meaning to the term "blue screen of death" when my car's operating system crashes sending me careening off the highway at 70mph plummeting into a ditch, killing me instantly....also "first"! lol
        • 4 Years Ago
        The only time the blue screen of death doesn't appear is when the car is stolen. Windows is designed to work flawlessly in that scenario...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your comment shows your ignorance of Microsoft SYNC equipped systems or you are just a troll, I vote both
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, holy copy cat Nissan. Nice Honda Civic Dash there.

      And windoze. Another reason to avoid Nissan.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Johnny, you make great points.

        But just a tip from someone who has spent more than little time on tech forums:

        Anyone who uses the terms "WinDoze", "M$", etc to refer to Microsoft and their software is a deliberate troll. :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        But in this case it does, because the system is versatile, works with almost every cellphone/mp3 player, this has led to more sales of ford vehicles. SYNC, hands down is the best inbuilt entertainment/GPS system on the market. I personally have one, you obviously don't, cause you are talking out of your a$$
        • 4 Years Ago
        Customers calls support in India.

        How do I stop the engine....

        ...see the start icon on your screen, first, you select start, then....
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's funny you say that, because one of the most popular entertainment/gps systems (SYNC) is powered by Microsoft, to the tune of over 2.5 million vehicles
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow, so MicroSoft sold a lot.
        Guess what, being high is sales does not equate to being a great product.

        GM produces a lot of cars, but they are not regarded as cutting edge or quality.
        Same for WindoZe. Sure, MicroSoft sells a lot, but has to be the crappiest OS on the planet.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For those of you that don't think the computer controls important functionality in the car you obviously don't remember when the first bangle-ized bmw 7-series came out.

      There were numerous problems like the cartridge-key being spit out of it's receptacle and making the car impossible to start to the electronic trunk release/close malfunctioning.
      All that was controlled by a broken embedded windows CE system.

      Even more ironic was that a few years earlier, bmw had an advertising campaign for their 3-series convertible claiming "our hardware runs better without windows".
      • 4 Years Ago
      where's the ctr-alt-del button ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was really very good software. I like it.[url=http://used.gov-auctions.org]used cars for sale[/url]
      • 4 Years Ago
      uh oh i wouldn't wanna see that blue screen of death when i'm driving my car. where's the mac car?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, who knew there were so many trolls on Autoblog. Uncreative too. "Blue screen of death har har"


      MS made a good system...check out what they did with SYNC...and last I checked the OS isn't controlling the car. You morons should also probably realize the BSOD doesn't even exist anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Every PC is a Dell ranging from Latitude D620 all the way up to a E6410... got anything else?
        • 4 Years Ago
        BSOD doesn't exist? what they changed the color?
        Keep drinking the koolaid my friend.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ditch the generic computer parts and buy some quality hardware before complaining.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I beg to differ, the BSOD is alive and well. I have built several Win 7 PC's in the past year or so, and I have seen BSOD's still happen with memory errors or corrupt files and other random stuff. As long as windows runs on the NT kernel you will see BSOD's it's just the way it is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was really very nice software for car.used cars for sale
      • 4 Years Ago
      The first version of Microsoft CE for automobiles was horrible. Microsoft hard-coded engine management parameters into it, which anyone in the software industry will tell you is a BAD design.

      This version has a different problem: Once an automaker has created a Silverlight touch-screen application, the automaker will be stuck with Microsoft and the only way out would be to re-write the touch-screen applications from scratch. Thus, it will be very expensive for an automaker to switch away from Microsoft later.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It isn't that hard to recode a Silverlight application into Flash or HTML5. All you need is a good grasp of Javascript.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Doesn't help the fact its an Ugly as Sin looking car :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      Blue screens of death, lmao!
      If you haven't played with synch, I highly recommend it, I've recently purchased a product with synch, and it's probably the coolest function of the new car
      • 4 Years Ago
      What is it with Microsoft making everything Windows ______ 7. First the phone now this. As good as the OS ismaybe they should make 6 others phones and infotainment systems before they pull out the 7. Just a thought.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They needed an odd number, to avoid their even-numbered release 'curse' (where each OS determined to be '2','4','6', etc. was garbage).
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ JRM

        The code is not related.

        Windows CE (which serves as the basis for the Windows Phone series, SYNC, etc) is completely separate from Windows 7 on desktops, and thus has a completely different kernel.
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