Live from Las Vegas: Microsoft on Saturday unveiled Microsoft Car.NET, a set of next-generation technologies that the company says will revolutionize automobile-based computing and communications. Based on Windows CE for Automotive 3.0, Car.NET will bring wireless Internet access to automobiles through a variety of in-vehicle information systems that feature speech recognition capabilities for hands-off operation. Motorists will be able to listen to email, make purchases online, and access music online. Controls that require typing or reading text will only work when the car is not moving, a safety feature aimed at curtailing the problems already caused by clueless cell phone users, who are often a hazard to themselves and others on the road.
"The market for in-car computing is poised to embark on an amazing journey," said Bob McKenzie, the general manager of the Automotive Business Unit at Microsoft. "Safety and security services are among the most important criteria to motorists. They want access to Internet-based information such as news, traffic updates, instant messaging, navigation assistance and other services. They also have a keen interest in back-seat entertainment systems. The Car.NET framework is designed to provide these features and more by delivering state-of-the-art reliability, flexibility and connectivity.