Following Apple's unveiling of CarPlay at this year's Geneva Motor Show, Microsoft used its recent Build developer conference to reveal how it plans to allow the integration of its smartphones with automobiles. Instead of automakers using Microsoft programming to create their own infotainment interfaces, this would port your mobile phone's screen onto the car's touchscreen but with the look of the Windows "Metro" UI.

The system uses the Mirrorlink standard, which is (also) a rival to CarPlay, the major difference between the two being that Mirrorlink can port Windows, Android and Blackberry phone systems, and Google has its own Open Automotive Alliance dedicated to Android integration. Automakers won't have to choose just one, having come together to establish open standards that can incorporate the different systems.

Microsoft's concept provides almost complete control of what's on your phone, throws in GPS data like speed limits and some vehicular controls, and will let developers create apps that adhere to safe driving protocols. The system doesn't have a name or an arrival date yet, but Microsoft is testing it out on the road right now. You can watch it be demonstrated - and yes, crash, since it's pre-production software - in the video below.



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  • 35 Comments
      icemilkcoffee
      • 8 Months Ago
      So it's everyone else ganging up on Apple.
        Michael H
        • 8 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Microsoft has been doing in-car systems since 2004, and is behind the underlying bits (not the user interface) of SYNC, MyFordTouch and UVO on Kia as well as a few others. Apple is late to this game.
          omgcool
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Michael H
          Michaele, SYNC was highly praised. MyFordTouch was the criticized one. As far as I know, Microsoft had nothing to do with MyFordTouch. I've used Microsoft SYNC, and it was genuinely great. Voice recognition and flexibility was superb relative to other car infotainment systems.
      Koenigsegg
      • 8 Months Ago
      ewww windows, i remember when i used that crap
        graphikzking
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        do you remember when you could watch flash videos on various sites without having to download an app for each website? Yep, I remember that because my Surface pro and my wife's Asus Vivotab RT both do that. Her RT also gets her 16 hours of battery life which gets her through nearly 2 weeks without having to charge it! Each platform definitely has it's advantages. I'm actually liking Windows 8. Even though there was a slight learning curve, I love not having to carry around a laptop AND a tablet any more. Just 1 device does both with perfection (for my job at least).
          Bernard
          • 8 Months Ago
          @graphikzking
          Android can do the same thing. Just download FlashFox and get the always desktop mode plugin and it will work just like Firefox on the desktop.
        atc98092
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        While Windows 8 on a desktop PC was a bad idea (that they are finally getting the hint about with the upcoming 8.1), I really like my Windows Phone 8. The Metro interface works fine for touch. It was just a mistake thinking it would work on the desktop.
          Autoholics Anonymous
          • 8 Months Ago
          @atc98092
          Fortunately the guy (Steven Sinofsky) that pushed the whole touch based desktop concept through is gone as of Nov. 2012 and things have been improving since in general. I like Windows 8 for what it is/was but it is not exactly what it should/could have been under his bullheaded leadership.
      v6sonoma
      • 8 Months Ago
      Headline should read "Microsoft brings whole new meaning to Crash"
        S.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @v6sonoma
        I've had a Windows 8 laptop for over a year and it has yet to crash once. It's 2014 dude
        ashwats
        • 8 Months Ago
        @v6sonoma
        good one ! lol
      John Ralphio
      • 8 Months Ago
      *shakes-head* @ this Terrible.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 8 Months Ago
      MirrorLink is just what everyone has been asking for and can't come soon enough, it's just too bad Apple yet again wants to promote proprietary, exclusionary technology while attempting to ignoring or stifle open standards. It's also kind of a surprise to see Google sticking with yesterday's idea of a proprietary OS in the car and duplicating effort instead of simply leveraging the smartphone everyone already has link MirrorLink does.
        Michaele
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Open systems in cars is a colossally bad idea.
      Fabian Romero
      • 8 Months Ago
      I don't trust windows for my computer, for my phone, for my tablet, and I DEFINITELY don't trust windows for my car
        over9000
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Fabian Romero
        so you trust Facebook
        Ryan
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Fabian Romero
        But why one earth do would you trust the car manufacturers to make a better in-vehicle OS? So far, they've all proved that they suck hard at it.
          sparrk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Ryan
          Why do you need a in-vehicle OS ?
        Jake
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Fabian Romero
        Said guy who logged in using facebook.
      Edsel
      • 8 Months Ago
      Microsoft Bob would have been a better interface than to use symmetrical squares with tiny text to i.d. its function. You'd think with the thousands of talented engineers and designers at MSFT, they could produce a more intuitive interface. I'm also concerned about an open developer platform in my car. While 99% of software developers are talented, ethical and honest people, the 1% that are not talented, ethical and honest could turn your car into a very dangerous product. The Mirrorlink presentation was a mess too.
      graphikzking
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow .. Google being the closed wall and MS being the open garden? Google - how a little bit of money goes to your head! I'm leaving google slowly but surely! Tired of getting "spam" emails from them and everything I search on my phone starts popping up on my computer whenever I turn it on.
      Andrew Ramos
      • 8 Months Ago
      When it slows down severely in a 3 year old car, just reinstall...
        Jake
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Andrew Ramos
        Computers slow down because people install all sorts of stupid stuff on them. My 3 year old computer runs fine.
          over9000
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jake
          lol that's because you haven't installed any updates
      Jmaister
      • 8 Months Ago
      Race for the first BSOD in car has begun.
      Michaele
      • 8 Months Ago
      Another Microsoft mobile fail.
      VL00
      • 8 Months Ago
      Great, blue screens on the go
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