Fiat brings Windows Embedded automotive to its cars

When I was young, and I dare not discuss when that was, I owned a Fiat X1/9.  The relationship with that car ended badly, but I shall always remember it as the car I was driving when I met my wife. Fast-forward a few (okay, more than a few) years and the car company is regaining popularity, but no longer as the little sports car I referred to as the "poor man's Ferrari". Today the company announces a new partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows EmbeddedAutootive to its vehicles.

Despite the polarized reactions to Windows 8, Microsoft continues to see success with the Embedded version of the operating system, with Home Depot announcing adoption of Embedded 8, and now the Italian car maker.

Fiat is using the "Blue and Me" technology (no not 'Windows Blue') in its 500 model, and has been since 2006. However, the company wants a new and improved version of this technology, according to the Microsoft announcement. "Fiat wanted a new version of Blue&Me that reflected both of these changes. It wanted an infotainment system that was affordable, flexible and would work equally well across more than 15 car models under the Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Dodge and Chrysler brands, as well as on the company’s line of commercial vehicles" Microsoft informs us.

For affordability, the new system is powered by a smaller processor and requires reduced storage space. For flexibility it supports multiple device types, enabling the use of applications such as eco:Drive, that support the use of touch and hands-free capabilities through voice recognition, and can be updated to support new devices and applications in the future.

"Candido Peterlini, director of Product Planning Infotainment for Fiat, says the company’s plans were based on an intimate understanding of customer needs". Well, it certainly is no longer my 1985 X1/9, but it does not make me miss the car any less!

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