Feeds

Microsoft chases satnav market

Just look out the Windows for heaven's sake

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft has announced a new iteration of Windows Embedded, this time targeted at satellite navigation hardware, although it sneaks in a sideshow capability to keep the Windows Vista connection alive.

Windows Embedded NavReady is apparently aimed at Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and includes Windows Live Search and MSN Direct to provide the usual navigation services, as well as Bluetooth and SideShow for manufacturers wanting to push the functionality a little further.

Current satellite navigation systems generally use an embedded OS with proprietary software on top to provide the UI and routing functionality. Some manufacturers have even been using Windows Embedded CE for years, but with their own layers on top. By providing the whole bundle Microsoft might be able to reduce the devices to commodity level, just as they have with desktop PCs.

Not that manufacturers will be unable to differentiate their offerings: NavReady supports Bluetooth, including the hands-free profile and AV Remote Control. So a NavReady device could easily control the in-car entertainment system and manage the mobile phone, as well as the more mundane business of supplying directions in a range of comedy voices.

If that's not enough then SideShow can provide additional functionality, as long as there's a Windows Vista PC nearby to do the leg work.

Licences for Windows Embedded are hugely volume dependent, but NavReady shouldn't cost device manufacturers more than a few dollars, especially as the real point is to get Live Search into cars in such a way that Google can't compete, at least until they announce Android-NavReady. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.