Microsoft’s no stranger to powering vehicle infotainment systems. But the company is looking to put a newer idea front and center, as detailed at its recent Build developer conference last week. The idea of Microsoft’s system is a lot like Apple’s new CarPlay initiative, essentially projecting a phone’s screen directly onto a car’s built-in infotainment display. Microsoft’s, obviously, will be more focused on a Metro-style interface, and the company is already testing it in some vehicles.
Microsoft’s current system takes advantage of Mirrorlink connectivity technology, and allows Windows devices to mirror what’s onscreen onto a car’s touch-friendly interface. Mirrorlink is expected to get broader support in the future, with VW, Honda, Toyota and Citroen all working on Mirrorlink-supported cars, while Alpine and Pioneer also supporting the initiative with aftermarket parts.
Everything is in the early stages, though Microsoft’s project basically puts a more simplified phone interface on a car’s display. Imagine your in-dash system dominated by tiles and such—Microsoft explained that developers will be able to easily create apps meant for the car. It isn’t clear when we can expect Microsoft to come up with a final working system, but for now things are in the concept stages.