Just as automakers can introduce concept cars, Microsoft has unveiled a conceptual connected-car platform. First looks make Microsoft in the Car appear to be a direct competitor to Apple’s CarPlay system which is rolling onto the street in a few models this year.
Like CarPlay, Microsoft’s system appears to transfer a phones operating system and controls onto the dashboard screen of a car. Using a combination of modified icons and voice commands, the user can run music and audio apps in an easier and safer way than grappling with the phone while driving.
If Microsoft partners with car companies and brings this platform to market, it will join Apple and Google as primary competitors for control of digital dashboards.
Apple CarPlay (and, at this conceptual stage, Windows in the Car) differs from Google‘s digital-dash venture (Open Automotive Alliance), which is conceived as a completely embedded version of Google’s Android operating system, built into the dashboard.