Microsoft has upped its game in the in-car infotainment scene, with a demonstration of its ‘Windows In The Car’ (WITC) concept at a developer conference this week.
Windows Phone users will soon be able to transfer their smartphone experience onto their in-car touchscreens, using a familiar layout of large coloured tiles, apps and even Xbox features.
Microsoft’s new tilt on the in-car experience was more a case of ‘when’ than ‘if’, reacting to Apple which recently outlined its new CarPlay system, and Google's announcement of an Android alliance with several carmakers.
WITC contains the usual phonebook, navigation and media entertainment capabilities, along with the ability to read text messages aloud.
Users can swipe from one screen to the next, and are greeted with a ‘swoosh’ sound when they do so - perhaps aimed at making the system safer to use while the vehicle is moving.
Common apps like Spotify, TuneIn and Amazon MP3 are installed on the concept, but Microsoft has issued a challenge to app-builders, of sorts, to develop apps that are safe to use while on the move.
It’s early days for WITC – proven when the system briefly crashes during the demonstration (see video) – but the battle for in-car supremacy between major smartphone operating systems is certainly heating up.
Microsoft is yet to announce a date when Windows In The Car will become available to the public.