New Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive – Reliable, Flexible and Connected

DETROIT, Oct. 16, 2000 — Today at Convergence 2000, the premier automotive electronics conference, Microsoft Corp. announced the introduction of the Microsoft® Windows® CE for Automotive v.3 operating system. It will enable system manufacturers to build next-generation, in-car computing systems that improve safety, communications, information and entertainment.

“The market for in-car computing is poised to embark on an amazing journey,”
said Bob McKenzie, general manager of the Automotive Business Unit at Microsoft.
“Safety and security services are among the most important criteria to motorists. They want access to Internet-based information such as news, traffic updates, instant messaging, navigation assistance and other services. They also have a keen interest in back-seat entertainment systems. Windows CE for Automotive is designed to provide these features and more by delivering state-of-the-art reliability, flexibility and connectivity.”

Windows CE for Automotive v.3 is an integral component of the just-announced Microsoft Car.NET Framework, an advanced, new-generation infrastructure technology that revolutionizes computing and communications in the automobile. Windows CE for Automotive v.3 delivers built-in reliability. Problems are averted before they can occur, or resolved without the need for user intervention.

The Critical Process Monitor (CPM) prevents system crashes and protects it from viruses. Run-time recovery ensures that the system will detect and automatically recover from failures.

Windows CE for Automotive v.3 has strong backing in the automotive industry. Bosch Corp. of Germany and Denso Corp. of Japan have announced plans to build and ship in-vehicle devices based on this software platform. In addition, leading automotive industry suppliers – such as Aisin AW Co. Ltd., Clarion Co. Ltd., Xanavi Informatics Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Japan’s second-largest trading house, have announced plans to develop systems and software applications on Windows CE for Automotive.

Windows CE for Automotive v.3 provides a flexible software foundation, along with development tools that empower customers to create desired solutions. It is an open system, so designers have complete freedom to choose the hardware platform, user interface and software configuration that best meet their needs. A superset of Windows CE Platform Builder, Windows CE for Automotive v.3 permits developers to control software configuration and to include or exclude any component of the platform. This provides system suppliers with maximum flexibility to build cost-effective products. To accelerate time to market, Windows CE for Automotive v.3 includes sample applications such as Media Manager, which supports digital audio (Windows Media™
Audio, MP3) and enables implementation of video sources.

Windows CE for Automotive v.3 also contains the GDI-Sub, a high-performance feature for the most demanding graphics applications, such as navigation. It also includes the Driver Distraction Control and an enhanced Power Management Architecture that supports low- and zero-power modes and that enables the system to go into zero battery-drain mode. Applications can be developed in a variety of languages, including C, C++ or Java (COM and DCOM).

Windows CE for Automotive v.3 is connected. Information, entertainment and communications devices are highly integrated, facilitating exceptional wireless access to the outside world. There is full HTML browser software with XML parsing support. Sample browser source code is included. Full TAPI (Telephony API) support enables both voice and data calls. Windows CE for Automotive v.3 opens up the world of the wireless Internet to motorists.

A dynamic evolution in hardware and software to meet the needs of the automotive industry is under way. Microsoft, along with its development and manufacturing partners, will play an essential role in advancing these flexible and integrated devices. Microsoft is committed to the automotive industry and will continue delivering enhanced versions of Windows CE for Automotive on schedule, with consistently improved platform features, flexibility and development tools.

About Windows CE for Automotive

Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive is an operating system built on Windows CE technology to make possible new categories of in-car computers that are capable of safely providing drivers and passengers with hands-free communication, access to personalized information on the Internet, the ability to summon emergency services and roadside assistance, and an array of convenience and entertainment applications. Windows CE for Automotive is an open platform that allows developers to quickly create powerful in-car computing solutions. It offers flexibility and choice of computing platforms, hardware peripherals and software components, as well as a large community of developers familiar with Windows CE development practices.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Quote Sheet

“When the development environment and development tools can be commonly shared, development man-hours and lead times can be reduced. By using Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive, we will be able to supply car navigation systems suitable for worldwide traffic information on a common global platform at reasonable prices.”

– Kenji Ito

Managing Director

Aisin AW Co. Ltd.

“As in-vehicle systems have become diversified, highly advanced and multifunctioned, we expect to pursue highly reliable, flexible and expandable in-vehicle devices according to the general-purpose Microsoft Windows operating system and the in-vehicle integration system. We marketed in-vehicle multimedia devices equipped with Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive as the operating system overseas for the first time, and we will continue cooperating with Microsoft to promote in-vehicle devices as a part of information technology.”

– Shoichi Minagawa

General Manager of Technology Development Headquarters

Clarion Co. Ltd.

“We believe that an open platform like Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive can facilitate modularization and componentization of software for navigation systems, which in turn will greatly contribute to expansion of the navigation system markets in the future. We will positively support industry activities based on Windows CE for Automotive and will propose various contents and application software necessary for navigation systems.”

– Seiichi Shimada

Vice President

Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

“Quick introduction of the latest technology is quite necessary in the car environment in the advanced information age. By using an open software platform like Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive, we will be able to market compelling products with short development cycles. We expect to have the common and open platform that allows each user to easily expand functions and to realize an advanced and attractive general-purpose system.”

– Kenichi Mitamura

Director and Senior Vice President

Product Strategy and Planning

Xanavi Informatics Corp.

“We feel it is best to have a common software platform to benefit end users and to activate the market. We will be working with Microsoft and other members of the industry to develop common specifications based on Windows CE for Automotive to provide quality in-vehicle systems and applications.”

– Mitsuharu Kato

Director and Member of the Board

ITS Product Division and Communication Product Division


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