Internet-enabled services could become more common in vehicles, thanks to a new operating system launched this week by Microsoft. Dubbed Windows Embedded NavReady 09, the operating system is designed to improve wireless connectivity and Internet access in GPS devices. It also includes Bluetooth features that allow GPS receivers to be coupled with other devices, such as cell phones, PDAs, and laptops.
"The industry mostly knows us for Windows PC, Windows Mobile, Zune, and Xbox," says Dan Javnozon, senior product manager of Windows Embedded. But for the past 11 years, he says, Microsoft has been supplying embedded operating systems for everything from huge industrial robots and home automation appliances to temperature controls and some GPS devices.
Whereas the desktop version of Windows adds new functions and requires more memory with every release, embedded operating systems sacrifice versatility for leanness and efficiency. Currently, most GPS companies, such as TomTom and Garmin, use their own custom-built, proprietary operating systems. Others use off-the-shelf embedded systems that may not be ideal for GPS technology. Mio, for instance, uses an existing Microsoft operating system called Windows Embedded Compact, which is designed for real-time handheld devices.
Read more at - 'Windows for GPS'