Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Windows Operating Systems Software Technology

Near-Future Fords to Feature Windows Automotive 441

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the clippy-is-my-copilot dept.
dpbsmith writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that a Windows Automotive software suite named Sync will be featured in some cars available Spring 2007, all 2008 Ford models, and Lincoln and Mercury models later. The software does not, apparently, run the engine or do anything directly connected with transportation. It will, rather, allow the user to 'use their vehicle as a computer in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.' Bill Ford and Bill Gates were reported as saying that having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future. 'There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind,' Ford said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Near-Future Fords to Feature Windows Automotive

Comments Filter:
  • by ThePopeLayton (868042) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:16PM (#17409164)
    add an entirely new meaning to crashing your car.
    • by The Zon (969911) <thezon@gmail.com> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:23PM (#17409210)
      It will, rather, allow the user to 'use their vehicle as a computer in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.'
      I'm more worried about the RIAA impounding my car as evidence until the trial's over.
    • by Idbar (1034346)
      The system can update itself while you are driving without you turning off and back on your car. Even better, I hope if the navigation system updates, you don't have to go back home and start over.

      In the future news:
      Detroit - The first windows based automotive crashed when the driver refused to update the system, filling the windshield with several pop-ups and finally automatically restarting the engine for the commuting driver in the expressway.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Xymor (943922)
      "Sorry for being late boss, my car got a virus and the time the gas ran out, I was in Canada!"

      I think I'll get an iCar instead.
    • by couchslug (175151)
      "add an entirely new meaning to crashing your car."

      Not to mention another source of revenue for your happy local geek mechanic. The feature bloat on modern cars means they cost more to fix. More money for me! :-)
    • by The_Rook (136658) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @03:46PM (#17411024)
      this is no joke. early versions of the (windows ce based) idrive system on bmw 7-series cars would crash taking the enitre car with them. nothing would work including the windows and door locks. as i understand it, drivers, on occasion, would get trapped inside their cars and would have to break the car's window to get out.
    • by DrVomact (726065) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @04:31PM (#17411336) Journal
      Give a whole new meaning to "driver incompatibility". "Driver not found" would be really scary. The most scary one of all would probably be something like "Windows has detected a new device, "Brakes". If you have media for this device, insert it now. Or would you like Windows to search for a new driver on the internet?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kasperd (592156)
      Will all the crashes will be blamed on bad drivers?
    • by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @06:36PM (#17412022)
      Format
      Or
      Reinstall
      Daily
  • Right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by taskforce (866056) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:21PM (#17409186) Homepage
    States and countries are banning using cell phones in cars left, right and centre and Microsoft, hot on the heels of the latest trends as always, decides the best place to put a PC is right on the dashboard.
  • by sentientbeing (688713) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:22PM (#17409200)
    Are you sure you want to turn right?

    Yes/No/Cancel

    An unknown error has occured. Please tell Microsoft about this problem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Perhaps we might be better off with a Linux distribution in our cars. Let's try this scenario:

      Driver: "Why can't I turn right?"
      Tech support: "RTFM, n00b."
      Driver: "I don't even know what that means. Were there zeros in that word?"
      Tech support: "(Sigh). Just drop to a shell and pipe the result from eflorp etc/turn/dir to xargs florp -bs7. Use apt-get to get version 0.78 of the xflorp library. Recompile your kernel. Reboot your machine."
      Driver: "I think I'll trade this in for a Honda"
  • by FlyByPC (841016) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:24PM (#17409214) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but this doesn't pass the "laugh test."

    We already have drivers chatting on cell phones. Now we want them downloading music and checking their email while driving?!? Close your eyes for a minute and imagine what your favorite busy intersection is going to look like with that going on. NOT pretty, huh?

    Don't get me wrong -- I (like pretty much everyone here) really like technology -- but there are already way too many distractions for even good drivers to handle. We need to either go with laws that require a low-distraction environment (no cell phones, video screens, etc) for drivers, or develop a foolproof autopilot system. And with the current state of technology, I think any "autopilot" option is basically only on the table as a scare tactic.

    • by Vengeance (46019)
      All I have to say about this is...

      WHOA! Hey ASSHOLE! Don't cut me off like that! At LEAST use your turn signal!!!!

      sorry, I was just gonna say that I think this is a great idea Ford has.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lawpoop (604919)
      Yea! How about adding technology to cars that actually helps somebody *drive*, such as a HUD, navigation assistance, radar/sonar, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:24PM (#17409220)
    A significant portion of automotive customers want quality, as in things that need fixing as little as possible, as in "Toyota quality", not more stupid gadgets that break. Also, if I was to spend money on gadgets, I'd want to keep them with me when I change cars and not have to re-buy them. I'd also want to be able to upgrade them and sell them separately, like computer parts.
    • by vought (160908) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @01:54PM (#17410092)
      Dear Ford:

      Please deliver what we want, not what you think we want.

      Specifically:

      -Just enough car. You do a good job with your European models, satisfying the market there. How about providing US customers with (!) Japanese-style size, build quality, and engine choices? Here in the US, we can get small cars with too little power or poor gas mileage. We can get medium-sized cars with too little power or worse gas mileage. We can get large cars that uniformly have terrible mileage. Cut this computer crap and build a fundamentally good car, and I'll dump my Toyota and Honda.

      -Build for the world. You are probably aware of this, but your vehicle lineup in the US conforms only to US mileage requirements. While truck sales figures might tempt you to think otherwise, most of us don't enjoy spending lots of money on fuel. Why not maximize efficiency of operation and manufacturing at the same time? Build some cars with reasonably efficient powerplants and offer them in the US as well as in other markets in which you choose to compete.

      -Stop treating us like idiots. Your consumers won't desert you if you choose to produce and market cars that provide space, safety, and mileage that are far above what you build today, but Ford will get few additional sales from the addition of a new techno-geegaw that saps driver attention. Ford, you've already lost huge numbers of sales to Japanese manufacturers on the low and mid-range, non-commerial/nonfarm customers aren't buying many trucks anymore, and at the high end, well, let's just say Luxury trucks are a dead-end. The smart money is in safe and sane european luxo-sedans and a few odd folks buy Cadillacs.

      And yet, when all is said and done - you could have seen your current sad sales situation coming - you chose to keep making giant SUVs and marketing 500-hp Mustangs that only do two things well (use copious amounts of $2.50 Premium fuel and go fast in a straight line). You ignored research and development on the technology that could provide cars that most Americans need in favor simply building lots of copies of the cars Americans kinda wanted during the late 90s. The roads are littered with 96-01 SUV boom Explorers that have terrible resale value and FoMoCo used the money from this unprecedented profitable period to...make more and bigger trucks, and to create the "new" Mustang - a car that while not totally based in 1960s technology, gets terrible mileage anyway and provides little utility for the vast majority of drivers. But hey - the base model sells well in cities where daddy can afford to buy his sorority daughter a new toy during her sophomore year.

      So do us a favor, Ford. Stop building cars to make Car and Driver happy. The Accord's been on their ten best list for 23 of 25 years, and not because it's super fast, super-roomy, or super anything - but because it does most things well - why not just create an Accord with a Ford badge instead of spending millions on developing 500hp Mustangs that get laughed out of the automotive press?

      Sincerely,

      The Pragmatic American Car Buyer
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by b0s0z0ku (752509)
        Just enough car. You do a good job with your European models, satisfying the market there. How about providing US customers with (!) Japanese-style size, build quality, and engine choices? Here in the US, we can get small cars with too little power or poor gas mileage. We can get medium-sized cars with too little power or worse gas mileage. We can get large cars that uniformly have terrible mileage. Cut this computer crap and build a fundamentally good car, and I'll dump my Toyota and Honda.

        Well said, exc

      • by chris_eineke (634570) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @03:54PM (#17411104) Homepage Journal
        Dear Prospective Ford Motorvehicle Buyer:

        We know what you want, but it's too expensive to compete. Congressmen are cheaper.

        Love,
            Ford
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by oyenstikker (536040)
        Ford is screwed. They can't make money building Accord and Civic knockoffs. The profit margins are too low. Honda and Toyota can do it because they have much lower labor and insurance costs. The Big 3 can't; their expenses are too high. They have to make high profit margin cars. There are three proven markets for that: 1) Huge ugly trucks. Ford's bread and butter. 2) Exotics. Ford has, and still can, build a GT[40] that will compete with Porsches and Ferarris. But they don't have the beauty of the Porsches
  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lexarius (560925) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:27PM (#17409262)
    I don't know what other people look for in cars, but my priorities run something like this: Price (within my budget), runs well, safety, good mileage, maneuverability, bells and whistles, overall appearance. Bells and whistles aren't an edge until other priorities are met. As it is now, my next car will be another foreign model.
    • by vtcodger (957785)
      ***I don't know what other people look for in cars, but my priorities run something like this: Price (within my budget), runs well, safety, good mileage, maneuverability, bells and whistles, overall appearance***

      A couple of additions:

      1. The vehicle must be significantly smaller than my house.

      2. The vehicle controls must be comprehensible (I think it unlikely that Windows will be a major step toward that goal).

      3. I must be able to drive the thing without taking my eyes off the road/mirrors. (A GU

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Loco Moped (996883)
        Can we just go back to drunks? Their driving skills may have been impaired, but at least they had driving skills.

        You know, that's actually a valid point. Drunks, at least some of them, KNEW they were drunk and at least TRIED to stay on the road.
        Our new cell-phone-blabbing, mp3-playing, makeup-applying, pizza-munching bunch of road-hogs is not even aware that they're supposed to be driving, it seems.
    • You probably aren't the target market for something like this then. There is a segment of the market that chooses what car to buy based on the number and placement of the cupholders, believe it or not -- they're a more likely target...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lord Ender (156273)
      You must be married. Single people care about the style of the vehicle as the #1 spot. Our culture is causing people to be single longer. Car companies can't pretend it is the 50s where everyone is married with children anymore.
  • by DrMrLordX (559371)
    Those who "get it later" may wind up with software that has fewer bugs due to updates, patches, etc. This is a Microsoft OS we're talking about here. Even good MS software products require patching (usually).

    Will early adopters need to pull in to the dealership to get the latest patches, I wonder?
  • by Toby The Economist (811138) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:30PM (#17409290)
    The fact that a given subsystem is not directly involved in things like braking isn't actually that reassuring.

    There was a submission to the RISKS digest a while ago - I cannot recall the exact details, but the problem was that non-critical software was able to cause what was effectively a denial of service attack on the car-wide shared data bus ring, and THAT stopped the brakes from working.

    If a software can affect a component or module which is necessary for a critical function, then that software *is* critial. Given the existance of for example shared data buses, pretty much everything is in fact critical.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kent_eh (543303)
      I would hope that the only wiring that was shared between critical and non-critical systems would be the +12V and GND.

      While I suppose a massive hardware failure in the entertainment system could cause a brownout (And it'd be hard to blame that on Microsoft), the fuses should take care of that.

      I hope.
  • The engineers are coming up with new ideas faster than we can assimilate them? I'm not sure I would have wanted to use that word in this context.
  • So, lemme see now: the Windows Automotive product will control the non-critical aspects of the vehicle, such as radio, cell phone, and other "navigation" features. But, it *won't* do anything really *useful* like control ignition, transmission shift speeds, antilock braking, etc. Those are already covered by Ford's existing embedded control systems.

    What we have here is an excellent example of why Windows is just *not* trusted for "critical systems". Even Ford is showing their lack of trust in Windows b

    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      It says more about marketing. The product may not be reliable but you can't tell such from this decision.

      You know what would have happened if Ford used Windows control systems? Apart from the endless BSOD jokes here it would have bombed with anyone that doesn't trust Windows - and that's a significant chunk of the early adopters who are supposed to make it a success.
    • by presearch (214913) *
      So, one "boo" for using Windows *at all*, but one "thank g-d" for avoiding it where vehicle safety is concerned.

      Doesn't everything in an automobile influence it's safety?
      The audio system, navigation, and environment controls are a "critical" system because of their frequency of use.

      This will probably take a bunch of tactile interface controls (nice knobs and buttons) and replace them with auditory and visual feedback on a multi-mode LCD.
      Add to that a dash of Microsoft ugly and a dependence on having a home
      • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
        This will probably take a bunch of tactile interface controls (nice knobs and buttons) and replace them with auditory and visual feedback on a multi-mode LCD.

        Because buttons and levers are actually expensive to make as opposed to an LCD with a few cheap microswitches near it. For an example of *good* dashboard design, you have to go back to the euro. cars of the 80s - Volvos, BMWs, and SAABs seemed to have everything controlled by nice, big controls that could be used with gloves hands and found without

    • This software isn't meant to run the car, so of course Ford isn't using it for that. Do the world's most powerful supercomputers suck because they aren't good laptops?

      I don't think Microsoft makes embedded systems for running automobiles.
    • by NineNine (235196)
      What we have here is an excellent example of why Windows is just *not* trusted for "critical systems".

      Hey idiot, your car isn't running Unix, either. Just because it's a "computer" doesn't mean that an embedded system is any way, shape, or form like your PC.
    • I guess embedded vehicle control systems are just too important to be trusted to Windows.

      One of just a few million things I can think of offhand.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      What we have here is an excellent example of why Windows is just *not* trusted for "critical systems". Even Ford is showing their lack of trust in Windows by relegating it to non-critical vehicle operations, regardless of how well it is advertised to work.

      Not to interrupt your reflexive slam here; but so what?

      I guess embedded vehicle control systems are just too important to be trusted to Windows.

      I wouldn't trust Fedora Core with an embedded vehicle control system either.

      Not every

  • DashPC? (Score:2, Informative)

    by spoonyfork (23307)
    Whither DashPC [dashwerks.com]?
  • by dprovine (140134) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:37PM (#17409340)

    My question, based on less-than-satisfactory experiences as a customer with both companies, is "What happens when something goes wrong?"

    Will Ford say that it's not their responsibility to fix the troubles from Microsoft? Will users have to sign an EULA that says "This car comes with no warranty"?

    What if people try to get repairs for the system under the warranty, and Microsoft shafts Ford on supporting their stuff, the way Microsoft has shafted everybody they've ever partnered with? Can even Microsoft hold off a lawsuit from a major carmaker?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      Perhaps, instead of the scenarios you point out, Windows Automotive will be the first flavor of Windows to get proper warranty.
  • by presearch (214913) * on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:38PM (#17409348)
    Considering that Ford owns a big piece of Mazda....

    Zune, Zune!
  • by spribyl (175893) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:38PM (#17409350)
    IF MICROSOFT BUILT CARS.....
    1. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
    2. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
    3. Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop and fail and you would have to re-install the engine. For some strange reason, you would accept this too.
    4. You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT" Group Licence. But, then you would have to buy more seats..
    5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was much more reliable, five times as fast, twice as easy to drive - but would only run on 10 percent of the roads.
    6. The Macintosh car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars, which would make their cars run much slower.
    7. The oil, gas and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.
    8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
    9. The airbag system would say "are you sure?" before going off.
    10. If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what happened.
    11. We'd all have to switch to Microsoft (tm) Gas.
    • by Hamoohead (994058) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @02:07PM (#17410206)
      You missed a couple:

      -- Every time you replaced a headlight you would have to find an updated and signed device driver. If the driver was found not to be DRM compliant, the windshield and stereo would be instructed to go into "lo-res" mode.

      -- Every few years, Microsoft would further change the road specification requiring road makers to comply or face the prospect of having no cars on their roads. This would also require you to strip down your car and reinstall everything.

      -- Your car would require weekly connection to the internet to verify its authenticity. Depending on the release version, if verification failed you would either be required to pay for your car again before being allowed to continue your journey or a popup window would appear in the lower right corner of your windshield informing you that you are driving an illegal model. Police would be instructed to arrest the driver immediately upon seeing this.

      -- Nissan would file a class-action suit against MS claiming copyright infringement on their navigation system. MS would respond with a patch to the road system spec requiring all Nissan owners to install an MS upgrade kit to their vehicle to continue driving on MS roads.

      -- Billboards would pop up out of the pavement blocking your field of view requiring you to stop your car and click "X".

  • I'm confused (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:38PM (#17409360) Homepage
    OK, I'm confused now - wasn't Ford's problem that they we're selling too few vehicles? This sounds like a solution to the very opposite problem to me.

  • by xs650 (741277) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:39PM (#17409364)
    The meaning of the acronym FORD will now changed from Fix Or Repair Daily to Format Or Reboot Daily
  • by juiceg (700027) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:39PM (#17409366) Homepage
    Anyone remember when this chap got locked in his car because the OS froze?

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/12/10525917 31421.html?oneclick=truestory [smh.com.au]

    I can hardly wait until "I got locked in my car" becomes a standard excuse for why you're late for a meeting.

    • by rs232 (849320)
      "I can hardly wait until "I got locked in my car" becomes a standard excuse for why you're late for a meeting"

      How about, I was so preocupied watching the GPS screen that I drove off a cliff [techdirt.com].
  • by WED Fan (911325) <akahige.trashmail@net> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:41PM (#17409388) Homepage Journal

    In keeping with the resource hogging of Vista, Windows Automotive's System requirements:

    • 525HP engine, 700HP recommended
    • 1080i capable windshield/screen (you brits)
    • Trunk/Boot latch with a 3ms response time
    • 22in Wheels with Pimp-o-Bling Enhancements recommended
    • 7.1 Audio with BASS-O-DEATH
    • Auto roll up "View Portals" (Windows refer to the OS and cannot be applied to any glass see through barrier, read the License.)
    • Vehicle techs must be MCSE, MCSD, and the new MCATSE (Microsoft Certified Auto Technical Systems Engineer)
    • by no_pets (881013)
      You'll need to get your system patched at every oil change and upgraded with every tune-up.
      • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
        You'll need to get your system patched at every oil change and upgraded with every tune-up.

        Don't laugh. Triumph Motorcycles has actually had to release software patches for its engine control units because the motors were bucking at a certain RPM.

        -b.

  • Does my car really NEED to be the next device I have to worry about getting a virus? Symantec AntiVirus Automotive Edition anyone? Yay...

    I don't relish the thought of having to bring my car in for "security upgrades" or a re-install...

    MadCow
  • What are you going to have to do to restart your car? Honk the horn, Run the wipers and open the passenger door?
  • by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:48PM (#17409460) Homepage Journal
    having ... navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future.

    Umm... most people here that want in-car navigation systems are already considering buying them. In Denmark there are tons of adverts for them all over the place, including a huge billboard not far from my home. If Bill Gates want to get Microsoft navigation systems as the standard, they better hurry up because they aren't innovating but just following in the others' footsteps (as usual).
    • having ... navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future.

      Umm... most people here that want in-car navigation systems are already considering buying them. In Denmark there are tons of adverts for them all over the place, including a huge billboard not far from my home. If Bill Gates want to get Microsoft navigation systems as the standard, they better hurry up because they aren't innovating but just following in the others' footst

    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Umm... most people here that want in-car navigation systems are already considering buying them

      I'd much rather see a double or triple height DIN slot in the dashboards of cars with wiring for speed sensor, speakers, antennas, power, etc, so that you can install and replace nav systems and radios with whatever you want to put in. Technology marches on, and some people want to keep their cars for a decade or two but keep the electronics somewhat up to date.

      -b.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @01:04PM (#17409626)
    "There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind," Ford said.

    No, idiot, the ones who get it later will be a generation ahead.
  • by eck011219 (851729) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @01:07PM (#17409650)
    As a person with a moderate stutter (which gets worse while I'm driving, coincidentally), I'm getting pretty sick of everything going to speech recognition. According to the article, this system will be controlled this way as well. It's getting so I can do less and less in my environment unless I can speak fluently. Now I'm going to have to speak fluently to listen to the flippin' radio? Blech. And really, are we going to trust MS with speech recognition after this [youtube.com]?

    Besides, what's wrong with cars now? They go, the radios have knobs, and we all know how to run them. If we want to listen to music that doesn't exist on the radio, we have devices for that, too. And with many new cars now being released with jacks for mp3 players, seems to me the problems are pretty much solved. The way it works now, you can pick and choose what devices you want, install or order them, and you don't have to fight through a whole computer UI (and let's be honest, it probably won't be as intuitive as it could be) to get to the stuff you want.

    And really, I hardly think the biggest problem that Ford currently has is the multimedia experience for its drivers. How about cars that run reliably first, and THEN turn your focus to how to bugger up my radio.
  • Interesting article, but the part about "...downloading music..." made me wonder - given that by some estimates, by 2011 some 73 million cars will have iPod interfaces [ipodobserver.com], is this a not so subtle way for Microsoft to fend off the dominance of Apple's iPod?
  • I will be sticking with Honda:

    Bill Ford and Bill Gates were reported as saying that having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future.

    Offer me a reliable, efficent and comfortable car with simple and well thought out controls, price it affordably, and you'll get my business. I'd welcome a car with greater American made content, if it wasn't

  • Letsee...

    Cell phones.
    Blackberries.
    Applying Makeup
    Drinking Coffee.
    Wearing earbuds (iPod)

    Now we're going to put in a system that someone can send/receive email on their dash?

    What ever happened to Keep your eyes on the road?

    Has anybody seen the website http://www.platewire.com/ [platewire.com]? It allows your to report bad drivers by location and license plate. I can't wait to see "was sending IM and swerved into my lane...." as a reason for reporting someone.
  • FDISK Or Reboot Daily

    Rich
  • ...and they spin it like they're a generation ahead.

    And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind

    News flash, guys. Toyota/Lexus has had a similar system for years. [drive.com.au]

  • by torrentami (853516) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @01:31PM (#17409860)
    a new owner will have to obtain a new license in order to drive the car if he buys it used?
  • in your future!

  • Are there any states that _do_ allow drivers to watch TV while they drive? It seems like this really is a slippery slope situation where the LCD screen is morphing into a massive distraction. It will be awfully difficult to qualify, quantify and therefore legislate how much is too much.

  • Assuming that putting all of that stuff in the car is a good idea, why use Windows? Most of the megabytes of Windows are for the graphical interface stuff which is exactly what is unimportant in an automobile where a few large buttons are the only visual and tactile interface that's possible. Also, when the automakers climb into bed with Windows, they're getting into bed with the Windows brand name which, frankly, doesn't seem to be a selling point for anything mission critical like a car. Finally, for Micr
  • I don't want the radio, nav system, dashboard, etc to be all integrated. I typically drive 10-20 year old cars and I want to be able to upgrade the sound system and other stuff as technology marches on. This is planned obsolescence in the worst sense of the term.

    -b.

  • by Infonaut (96956)

    And people said Ford didn't have a chance.

  • by guisar (69737) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @08:55PM (#17412834) Homepage
    If this is the best Ford has got, not wonder they are tanking. I can see powerpoint briefs instead of manuals, having to reformat your stereo and of course being lost when the required (expensive) upgrade to the nav system refuses to read your old route files. Come on Ford, why not bring back a big of reliability, build quality and mileage instead of wasting your R&D on this nonsense. Given your presence in the EU and their attitude toward Microsoft, do you really publicizing this relationship is wise?
  • by Dr. Zowie (109983) <slashdot@defor e s t . o rg> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @09:09PM (#17412914)
    The Toyota Prius has a very nice automotive computing system with high def screen, speech recognition, bluetooth phone access, and a zillion other features. No Redmond involvement at all...

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.

Working...