Microsoft has added Cortana, the virtual assistant baked into Windows 10, to its Windows in the car concept that was first previewed at last year’s Build conference. The software giant is even exploring technology that puts Cortana on your windshield for easy use while driving.
Windows in the car is Microsoft’s answer to Android Auto and CarPlay. Although it has Windows at its core, it sports a touch-friendly interface with large buttons and menus that makes it ideal for an in-car entertainment system.
Originally, Windows in the car didn’t have hands-free controls, but by adding Cortana, Microsoft gives users the ability to control music, make calls, and even respond to messages safely using only their voice. And it goes even further than that.
“Samuel Shen, chief operating officer at Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research, revealed that the company has created a concept that projects Cortana onto the windshield of a car,” reports The Verge. “The Cortana integration lets drivers make restaurant reservations on their windshield, or see their favorite locations thanks to a virtual map.”
Shen added that Microsoft has not yet launched similar products because of their high cost, but the company is now in talks with Taiwanese partners to “jointly explore future possibilities.” This is one technology that could give Windows in the car a big advantage of its rivals.
This isn’t the first time Windows has been used in cars; the operating system has also been adapted to power in-car entertainment systems from the likes of BMW, Ford, Nissan, and Kia. But Windows in the car has Microsoft’s own UI and its own standard.