Microsoft unveils Windows in the Car to compete with Apple’s CarPlay

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Apple’s recently launched CarPlay brings the iPhone experience, its apps and services to in-car entertainment systems. Microsoft is working on a similar project called “Windows in the Car” that it debuted at the Build developer conference this week.

Windows in the Car brings Windows Phone’s Metro UI, and the OS’ tiles based interface to car entertainment systems. Much like CarPlay, Windows in the Car also relies on a Windows Phone to power the touch screen in the car.

The Verge reports:

Microsoft has created a concept that it’s currently testing in real cars, and the idea allows Windows devices to mirror what’s shown on screen into a touch- and car-friendly interface. The current prototype uses the connectivity standard Mirrorlink, an alternative to Apple’s CarPlay system. Mirrorlink is currently used by Nokia’s Symbian phones and Sony’s Xperia Z handset, but it’s expected to gain broader support if infotainment systems start to use the standard more. Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, and Citroen are all working on cars with Mirrorlink support, and aftermarket car radio manufacturers Alpine and Pioneer are backing it.

While Apple hasn’t totally opened up the CarPlay platform to app developers, Microsoft previewed its own solution at a developer conference to encourage developers to design their apps for the car, which they can then sell through a marketplace. Microsoft isn’t announcing when Windows in the Car would make its way to consumers.

Here are a few screenshots of Windows in the Car, which show Maps, Phone, Xbox Radio, FM Radio, Messages and a lot more:

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Categories: CarPlay