Microsoft’s Next Frontier: Cars

Cars will get Windows! WSJ writes on Microsoft’s move into the 650 million car market, growing by 50 million each year:

Cars with the Microsoft Corp. software will speak up when it’s time for an oil change. They’ll warn drivers about wrecks on the road ahead and scout alternative routes. They’ll pay freeway tolls automatically. The software running their brakes will upgrade itself wirelessly.

Microsoft’s “TBox,” which he said will be available in 12 to 36 months, can connect them all and make them hands-free. “The idea is to make it easy to bring phones and laptops into the car and connect to networks around it,” said Dick Brass, vice-president of Microsoft’s automotive business unit.

The device has a processor, memory and a hard drive with no moving parts, said Peter Wengert, marketing manager for Microsoft’s automotive unit.

Mr. Brass said drivers could use the system to create 21st century vanpools and help reduce congestion. “It’s possible to imagine setting a system in place with 5,000 to 10,000 vans and have a dramatic reduction in traffic,” he said. “With GPS and TBox, we have the tools we would need to put this all together.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.