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Near-Future Fords to Feature Windows Automotive

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the clippy-is-my-copilot dept.

Windows 441

dpbsmith writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that a Windows Automotive software suite named Sync will be featured in some cars available Spring 2007, all 2008 Ford models, and Lincoln and Mercury models later. The software does not, apparently, run the engine or do anything directly connected with transportation. It will, rather, allow the user to 'use their vehicle as a computer in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.' Bill Ford and Bill Gates were reported as saying that having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future. 'There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind,' Ford said."

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This is going to.... (5, Funny)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409164)

add an entirely new meaning to crashing your car.

Re:This is going to.... (1)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409180)

Or your car crashing itself without any apparent reason :-)

Re:This is going to.... (0, Flamebait)

LiMikeTnux (770345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409706)

Ford does that WITHOUT windows!

Re:This is going to.... (5, Insightful)

The Zon (969911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409210)

It will, rather, allow the user to 'use their vehicle as a computer in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.'
I'm more worried about the RIAA impounding my car as evidence until the trial's over.

"Found On Road Dead" happens even more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409270)

Yeah, that's what I need.

A BSOD on the 405 in LA. :-P

Re:This is going to.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409282)

At least we might find out what color a real screen of death is.

Re:This is going to.... (3, Insightful)

cherax (1039510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409470)

Does either of these Bills even do any of these things (e.g. music download) while driving a car? Do they even drive their own cars? Given that just about any distraction (talking on a cell phone, being drunk, being a teen-ager, etc.) increases accident rates by 400%, are they prepared to take responsibility for the increased body count? Or, at the very least, for having given people greater opportunities to do serious harm with a machine originally intended for transportation? The car as entertainment center. The car as office. Sheesh.

Re:This is going to.... (3, Insightful)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409512)

Why should THEY be responsible? It's the people who make the mistakes, not the constructor. There's way to use this in a very safe way. When the United States has more accidental deaths because of MP3 downloading while driving than of gun ownership related incidents (how many time little Bobby's got shot because they played with their dads gun?), then you might have an issue. In the meantime, there are far more dangerous stuff that is made available to people.

Re:This is going to.... (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409302)

Well yeah, if I am correctly reading the article, it seems that there is two "bill"s two pay. That's gonna cost!

Great... (0)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409168)

I wonder what degree of "Road Rage" the BSOD's will evoke!

fp?

Re:Great... (1)

burnetd (90848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409494)

Of course this time it really could be the blue screen of DEATH...

OH LAWD (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409170)

In before hordes of Linux fanboys.

Re:OH LAWD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409192)

What do you expect? Its a F. O. R. D.

Obligatory: (1, Funny)

Schapsmann (969126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409182)

In corporatist USA, Microsoft crashes YOUR car *ducks while chairs are being thrown*

Right (4, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409186)

States and countries are banning using cell phones in cars left, right and centre and Microsoft, hot on the heels of the latest trends as always, decides the best place to put a PC is right on the dashboard.

Re:Right (1)

azery (865903) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409244)

As far as I know, only the driver is not allowed to make a phone call. Other people in the car are free to make a phone call/ watch a movie, etc.

Mostly a problem with women (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409416)

In my experience issues with driving while using the phone are mostly confined to women. Does anyone know of any empirical data on this?

Re:Mostly a problem with women (2, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409698)

Well, my experience is generally that anyone using a cell phone in a car might as well be drunk since it's hard to tell the difference from the way they drive. Now, it may be true that women talk longer on the cell phone: I say that because most women I know talk longer on the regular telephone, in fact I will go so far as to say that the invention of the cordless telephone did more to crank up phone usage than any other single factor. My old girlfriend would talk for hours on the phone, that doubled when she went cordless and then dummy me bought her a headset and I never got to talk to her again. However, I don't know if that applies to cell phone usage, although I suspect it does.

Now, I will say that women drivers, in my experience, are becoming more aggressive, more dangerous, regardless of whether or not they're using a cellular phone. Worse, at least in the area where I live they're all driving giant ASSUVs (Arrogant Suburbanites Sporting Ugly Vehicles.) Apparently insurance company statistics bear that out ... women in the 18 to 25 year old range used to be substantially safer than their male counterparts. Not anymore. So when you combine their native inability to handle a large vehicle (that may sound sexist to some of you, but I drive sixty miles a day surrounded by these feminine sociopaths and it's reached the point where I'm considering moving closer to work) and the inability of pretty much everyone, regardless of sex, to drive effectively with a cell phone jammed in their ear, it's getting pretty goddamned dangerous out there.

Re:Mostly a problem with women (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409710)

There is lots of empirical evidence. Google on "cell phone drunk", and you'll find a host of studies ranging cell phone use (both with and without handsfree) while driving about as dangerous as driving drunk.

It's all about the money, dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409480)

Bill Gates knows that. Cha ching. Cost analysis: one accidental death per $300,000,000 profit? Ah, that's worth it. Do it! Cha ching.

This isn't a bad idea, if they do it "Right" (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409496)

I, for one, would love to have a usb port on my dashboard, so I could monitor my computers vitals, diagnose those annoying dashboard lights when they pop up, play mp3s, hook up a webcam to record a traffic stop, etc.

Re:This isn't a bad idea, if they do it "Right" (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409536)

Why not go the whole hog and have bluetooth and drive via wiimote!

Appropriate union of buggy technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409190)

Now we can see the world's most crash-prone OS merge with North America's most stall-prone car.

Re:Appropriate union of buggy technology (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409554)

Found On Road DoSed.

KFG

What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409200)

Are you sure you want to turn right?

Yes/No/Cancel

An unknown error has occured. Please tell Microsoft about this problem.

Twofo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409202)

Zeus sucks cock [twofo.co.uk]

car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409204)

where are you now?

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409206)

I had thought I could escape the blue screens of death at work by taking a ride in my car. I guess not. I don't find constantly having to install Windows updates and running virus scans entertaining. Please don't Zune my car!

Waitaminute -- it's not April 1... (2, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409214)

I'm sorry, but this doesn't pass the "laugh test."

We already have drivers chatting on cell phones. Now we want them downloading music and checking their email while driving?!? Close your eyes for a minute and imagine what your favorite busy intersection is going to look like with that going on. NOT pretty, huh?

Don't get me wrong -- I (like pretty much everyone here) really like technology -- but there are already way too many distractions for even good drivers to handle. We need to either go with laws that require a low-distraction environment (no cell phones, video screens, etc) for drivers, or develop a foolproof autopilot system. And with the current state of technology, I think any "autopilot" option is basically only on the table as a scare tactic.

Re:Waitaminute -- it's not April 1... (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409314)

All I have to say about this is...

WHOA! Hey ASSHOLE! Don't cut me off like that! At LEAST use your turn signal!!!!

sorry, I was just gonna say that I think this is a great idea Ford has.

Re:Waitaminute -- it's not April 1... (1)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409368)

... there are already way too many distractions for even good drivers to handle.
The driver is not necessarily the only occupant of a vehicle.

Re:Waitaminute -- it's not April 1... (1)

edbob (960004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409476)

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine what your favorite busy intersection is going to look like with that going on. NOT pretty, huh?
Thanks a lot! I just ran a red light and t-boned some guy:)

They still don't get it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409220)

A significant portion of automotive customers want quality, as in things that need fixing as little as possible, as in "Toyota quality", not more stupid gadgets that break. Also, if I was to spend money on gadgets, I'd want to keep them with me when I change cars and not have to re-buy them. I'd also want to be able to upgrade them and sell them separately, like computer parts.

Re:They still don't get it (1)

FiskeBoller (536819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409454)

And add the fact that US auto manufactures lose out on markets like China because they balk at emission standards, or fuel efficiency requirements. Ford "focus" is definitely in the wrong direction.

Quality is Job One? (0)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409248)

Anyone else remember that? It's a race to the bottom in a 12 MPG SUV. They better not put that in the Escape hybrid.

Priorities (4, Insightful)

lexarius (560925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409262)

I don't know what other people look for in cars, but my priorities run something like this: Price (within my budget), runs well, safety, good mileage, maneuverability, bells and whistles, overall appearance. Bells and whistles aren't an edge until other priorities are met. As it is now, my next car will be another foreign model.

Re:Priorities (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409578)

***I don't know what other people look for in cars, but my priorities run something like this: Price (within my budget), runs well, safety, good mileage, maneuverability, bells and whistles, overall appearance***

A couple of additions:

1. The vehicle must be significantly smaller than my house.

2. The vehicle controls must be comprehensible (I think it unlikely that Windows will be a major step toward that goal).

3. I must be able to drive the thing without taking my eyes off the road/mirrors. (A GUI -- any GUI -- is a step toward this how?)

BTW, This week I've had to take evasive action to avoid three different and distinct halfwits with cell phones plastered to their skulls driving SUVs outside the marked lanes. I can't wait til these beauties get Windows On Wheels. Can we just go back to drunks? Their driving skills may have been impaired, but at least they had driving skills.

Re:Priorities (1)

Eric Pierce (636318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409680)

I don't know what other people look for in cars, but my priorities run something like this: Price (within my budget), runs well, safety, good mileage, maneuverability, bells and whistles, overall appearance. Bells and whistles aren't an edge until other priorities are met. As it is now, my next car will be another foreign model.
My thoughts exactly; especially on the 'good mileage' (fuel efficiency) point. America is pretty much in last place (ref. Inconvenient Truth) in this category.

A generation behind? (2, Insightful)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409264)

Those who "get it later" may wind up with software that has fewer bugs due to updates, patches, etc. This is a Microsoft OS we're talking about here. Even good MS software products require patching (usually).

Will early adopters need to pull in to the dealership to get the latest patches, I wonder?

Re:A generation behind? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409312)

Nah, updates will be done automagicaly via wireless internet. Just make sure that you don't drive near a hijacked wireless router that is masquerading as a Trusted patch source. You don't want porn-popups while your mother is driving.

Re:A generation behind? (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409354)

> "Will early adopters need to pull in to the dealership to get the latest patches, I wonder?"

Yeah, I guess car buyers have a new criteria to consider:
"Honey, I know this car is top rated for safety and reliability, and I just love the fuzzy dice. But does it have USB 2.0 connector?"

Re:A generation behind? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409528)

We already do that with ipod connectors. I don't know about the US but in the UK ipod connectivity is the 'big thing' - so much so that manufacturers regularly lie about it (saying that having an AUX socket is 'ipod ready' and stuff like that).

I hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409268)

Hope that..

- the navigation feature wont be lame and be in 3D (circa 1999 Neverlost) not 2D (circa 2006 Microsoft Streets).

- voice recognition won't be shoddy

- it won't cost mad money

Is there anyone? (1)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409276)

Is there anyone who really wants to download music with his car? I wonder if this will prove a useful feature. Is this something people will have some advantage of or more like another use of software "just because we can use it here"? It seems to me that some industries (and governments etc. for that matter) think that if something has software in it, it will be better. Of course for nerds maybe it is...

Re:Is there anyone? (1)

morboIV (1040044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409484)

Are you kidding, that would be awesome! Consider the convenience of having a car stereo with a 60GB music library specifically chosen for your own enjoyment. Even better would be having automatic wireless updates of that music library from your homw computer.

Re:Is there anyone? (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409508)

Even better would be having automatic wireless updates of that music library from your homw computer.

Is that even legal? I thought fair use was dead long ago.

Re:Is there anyone? (1)

morboIV (1040044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409620)

Of course it's legal. Making that illegal would be like saying it's illegal to copy music from iTunes to an iPod.

Only legal with DRM? (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409644)

Of course it's legal. Making that illegal would be like saying it's illegal to copy music from iTunes to an iPod.

Ah you mean it's legal as long as the music you buy is DRM'd? I guess that makes sense. After all non-DRM'd music is dangerous, right?

Re:Only legal with DRM? (1)

morboIV (1040044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409682)

Dude, you can legally copy unDRMed mp3 files from iTunes to an iPod.

Re:Is there anyone? (1)

edavid (1045092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409662)

Do you really think you'll be able to use the same music you bought for home or your ripped CDs on this ?
No you'll be at most allowed to listen for each song 3 times, and you'll have to buy it once for home and once for each of your cars...

Non-critical software on a shared data bus? (3, Interesting)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409290)

The fact that a given subsystem is not directly involved in things like braking isn't actually that reassuring.

There was a submission to the RISKS digest a while ago - I cannot recall the exact details, but the problem was that non-critical software was able to cause what was effectively a denial of service attack on the car-wide shared data bus ring, and THAT stopped the brakes from working.

If a software can affect a component or module which is necessary for a critical function, then that software *is* critial. Given the existance of for example shared data buses, pretty much everything is in fact critical.

assimilation? (1)

at10u8 (179705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409296)

The engineers are coming up with new ideas faster than we can assimilate them? I'm not sure I would have wanted to use that word in this context.

FUCK YOU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409298)

TWOFO

TWOFO

TWOFO

Microsoft Patents (1, Funny)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409308)

Shades of Microsoft-Novell: I wonder if this is just a ploy to get into automobiles and then claim trademark infringement on the transparent material surrounding the passenger compartment?

It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (2, Interesting)

bjanz (573487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409322)

So, lemme see now: the Windows Automotive product will control the non-critical aspects of the vehicle, such as radio, cell phone, and other "navigation" features. But, it *won't* do anything really *useful* like control ignition, transmission shift speeds, antilock braking, etc. Those are already covered by Ford's existing embedded control systems.

What we have here is an excellent example of why Windows is just *not* trusted for "critical systems". Even Ford is showing their lack of trust in Windows by relegating it to non-critical vehicle operations, regardless of how well it is advertised to work.

I guess embedded vehicle control systems are just too important to be trusted to Windows.

So, one "boo" for using Windows *at all*, but one "thank g-d" for avoiding it where vehicle safety is concerned.

re. cell phones, tv, and "heads-up" displays: most folks get distracted by stuff at the side of the road or conversations inside the car. Now we're adding yet more distractions. Look, let's just do it right: put a PAS (pedestrian aiming system) in the heads-up display and install "Grand Theft Auto"!

\burt

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409488)

Well I guess I agree to a certain point, but you also have to keep in mind that these are Ford vehicles we're talking about. Ford has had computers operating significant systems in their cars for what... 20-some years? In one respect I think Ford has a little more experience when it comes to this. Also, why would they trust the "brain" to ANY company? Its like google outsourcing its search engine.

I will agree to your GTA port.

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

Hamoohead (994058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409530)

'Those are already covered by Ford's existing embedded control systems. What we have here is an excellent example of why Windows is just *not* trusted for "critical systems". Even Ford is showing their lack of trust in Windows by relegating it to non-critical vehicle operations, regardless of how well it is advertised to work.'

Well of *course* they're not going to use Windows instead of proprietary single-application firmware. Windows is a general purpose OS. If you want mission critical, you code for the task at hand. Brakes, I think, qualify as mission critical. Using Windows to control such a priority task makes about as much sense as using a PC for a gaming box. Oh, wait. . .

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409564)

It says more about marketing. The product may not be reliable but you can't tell such from this decision.

You know what would have happened if Ford used Windows control systems? Apart from the endless BSOD jokes here it would have bombed with anyone that doesn't trust Windows - and that's a significant chunk of the early adopters who are supposed to make it a success.

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409570)

So, one "boo" for using Windows *at all*, but one "thank g-d" for avoiding it where vehicle safety is concerned.

Doesn't everything in an automobile influence it's safety?
The audio system, navigation, and environment controls are a "critical" system because of their frequency of use.

This will probably take a bunch of tactile interface controls (nice knobs and buttons) and replace them with auditory and visual feedback on a multi-mode LCD.
Add to that a dash of Microsoft ugly and a dependence on having a home Vista PC running some nasty sync application that Microsoft will lose interest in supporting after v1.2.

Mmm. Fun.

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

azery (865903) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409606)

just do it right: put a PAS (pedestrian aiming system) in the heads-up display

So that's why Mercedes has a star on the hood of the car... It is a PAS.

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409618)

This software isn't meant to run the car, so of course Ford isn't using it for that. Do the world's most powerful supercomputers suck because they aren't good laptops?

I don't think Microsoft makes embedded systems for running automobiles.

Re:It won't run the car -- heh heh heh (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409660)

What we have here is an excellent example of why Windows is just *not* trusted for "critical systems".

Hey idiot, your car isn't running Unix, either. Just because it's a "computer" doesn't mean that an embedded system is any way, shape, or form like your PC.

DashPC? (2, Informative)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409332)

Whither DashPC [dashwerks.com] ?

What Sort Of Warranty, And Who Backs It? (4, Interesting)

dprovine (140134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409340)

My question, based on less-than-satisfactory experiences as a customer with both companies, is "What happens when something goes wrong?"

Will Ford say that it's not their responsibility to fix the troubles from Microsoft? Will users have to sign an EULA that says "This car comes with no warranty"?

What if people try to get repairs for the system under the warranty, and Microsoft shafts Ford on supporting their stuff, the way Microsoft has shafted everybody they've ever partnered with? Can even Microsoft hold off a lawsuit from a major carmaker?

Re:What Sort Of Warranty, And Who Backs It? (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409712)

Perhaps, instead of the scenarios you point out, Windows Automotive will be the first flavor of Windows to get proper warranty.

So...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409342)

That's all good and great (and well, useless when driving), but can it do something really useful to me, like parallel park itself [cars.com] like the new Lexus??


'There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind,' Ford said.


This is such a stupid comment. Just like any system this is going to have tons of bugs for the first few months, if not years (then again, it's windows, it'd be surprising if it even comes out on the said date). Those who get it later wont be behind, they just wont have to put up with the obligatory crap that comes along with brand new technology. Besides, I seriously doubt that most of the people who will be using these cars regularly will even take advantage of half the functions available.

In teh spirit of dumb comments.... (3, Funny)

presearch (214913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409348)

Considering that Ford owns a big piece of Mazda....

Zune, Zune!

Heard this before (3, Funny)

spribyl (175893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409350)

IF MICROSOFT BUILT CARS.....
1. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
2. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
3. Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop and fail and you would have to re-install the engine. For some strange reason, you would accept this too.
4. You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT" Group Licence. But, then you would have to buy more seats..
5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was much more reliable, five times as fast, twice as easy to drive - but would only run on 10 percent of the roads.
6. The Macintosh car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars, which would make their cars run much slower.
7. The oil, gas and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
9. The airbag system would say "are you sure?" before going off.
10. If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what happened.
11. We'd all have to switch to Microsoft (tm) Gas.

end-user point of view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409356)

I think this is totally cool - and as "just and end-user" I don't really care if it is OSS or not. I just want it to be very easy to use.

I'm confused (2, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409360)

OK, I'm confused now - wasn't Ford's problem that they we're selling too few vehicles? This sounds like a solution to the very opposite problem to me.

Found On Road Dead (4, Funny)

xs650 (741277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409364)

The meaning of the acronym FORD will now changed from Fix Or Repair Daily to Format Or Reboot Daily

What about when things go wrong? (3, Interesting)

juiceg (700027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409366)

Anyone remember when this chap got locked in his car because the OS froze?

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/12/10525917 31421.html?oneclick=truestory [smh.com.au]

I can hardly wait until "I got locked in my car" becomes a standard excuse for why you're late for a meeting.

Re:What about when things go wrong? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409622)

"I can hardly wait until "I got locked in my car" becomes a standard excuse for why you're late for a meeting"

How about, I was so preocupied watching the GPS screen that I drove off a cliff [techdirt.com] .

change brands of automobiles (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409372)

i was planning on buying a Ford 1 ton dually with the Powerstroke Diesel, this has changed my plans. i refuse to buy anything with Microsoft software in it, unless a GNU/Linux developer comes up with software to over-write the kludge Ford & MS puts in Ford's product...

Re:change brands of automobiles (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409516)

I wonder if you get the "microsoft tax" back if you decide not to run windows in your car :)

GM talking to Apple (1)

asmiller1950 (625539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409382)

Apple is working with GM to create a click wheel interface for all controls on the next generation Cadillac. (Of course, firmware upgrades will be handled through OnStar.)

System Requirements (5, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409388)

In keeping with the resource hogging of Vista, Windows Automotive's System requirements:

  • 525HP engine, 700HP recommended
  • 1080i capable windshield/screen (you brits)
  • Trunk/Boot latch with a 3ms response time
  • 22in Wheels with Pimp-o-Bling Enhancements recommended
  • 7.1 Audio with BASS-O-DEATH
  • Auto roll up "View Portals" (Windows refer to the OS and cannot be applied to any glass see through barrier, read the License.)
  • Vehicle techs must be MCSE, MCSD, and the new MCATSE (Microsoft Certified Auto Technical Systems Engineer)

Re:System Requirements (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409658)

You'll need to get your system patched at every oil change and upgraded with every tune-up.

I don't even wanna RTFA (1)

dm97062 (933337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409390)

There are going to be those who have it and those who don't

Now talk about a paradox.

Why are they doing this? (0)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409400)

Why on earth do you need Windoze for your car? I mean, stop and think about it. I can't think of a single function that I'd want in my vehicle that couldn't be run more efficiently and reliably by a dedicated microcontroller.

This is an example why I will never buy another Ford. Too much useless gadgetry to go wrong in them. Perhaps if Ford would spend more time improving the quality and durability of their cars instead of inventing new meaningless crap to stuff in them, then maybe their company wouldn't be perpetually in the shitter.

Clippy, take the wheel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409414)

It appears that your engine is on fire. What would you like to do?

A. Stop on the shoulder and reboot?
B. Drive into a pond?
C. Defragment your engine?

 

Latest news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409420)

A number of motorists failed to get to work on time today after their vehicles refused to start. CT blames the problem on a Macro$mart software upgrade gone awry and says the problem was resolved quickly and the affected motorists vehicles returned to service in the shortest possible time... Macro$mart denied it's software was to blame citing a study showing that flaws in the open source Joe language were largely to blame for instabilities in ZP.

Just what my car needs... (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409428)

Does my car really NEED to be the next device I have to worry about getting a virus? Symantec AntiVirus Automotive Edition anyone? Yay...

I don't relish the thought of having to bring my car in for "security upgrades" or a re-install...

MadCow

But it's STILL a Ford.... (0)

zardie (111478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409452)

... at least they circled the problem, though.

Cntrl - Alt - Delete? (2, Funny)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409458)

What are you going to have to do to restart your car? Honk the horn, Run the wipers and open the passenger door?

Predictions are easy with hindsight.... (3, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409460)

having ... navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future.

Umm... most people here that want in-car navigation systems are already considering buying them. In Denmark there are tons of adverts for them all over the place, including a huge billboard not far from my home. If Bill Gates want to get Microsoft navigation systems as the standard, they better hurry up because they aren't innovating but just following in the others' footsteps (as usual).

Ford is going belly up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409486)

Posting anonymous for obvious reasons.
This isn't exactly on-topic but since it involves ford I'll include it anyway.
I work with a lot of subcontractors in the car industry and most of them are predicting that ford will not survive many more years. There are several reasons for this but the key ones are the massive retirement of workers, the high price for American cars and the way that ford has missed the demand for smaller fuel efficient cars. The demise of ford is predicted somewhere between four and eight years from now, depending on who you ask.
I find it somewhat unlikely myself but time will tell I guess. I'll keep an eye on any news about ford for the coming years, and hopefully I'll be able to laugh at them for being so off target.

Insurance companies? (1)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409506)

How are insurance companies going to react when microsoft is at fault for a car crash? And will they lower my premium if I install linux?

Its about the bottom line... (1)

CloneRanger (122623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409534)

I think this is a scheme to bump up the price of the car when purchasing and then a way to stay in your wallet thereafter. Monthly residual income is something all companies want. Then just wait till something is wrong with it. The solution will be to replace it. I'll guarantee next to no troublshooting will be done since most mechanics do not have computer training or equipment. Imagine the bill to replace it.

Mental note: No more Fords for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409588)

See subject, fuck Microsoft!

I bleed blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409610)

but wont be bleeding because of broken windows.
No M$ products in my car thankyou.

12 years of programming in a windows environment has left me kind of bitter, or even jaded if you please.

Dumbass marketroids (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409626)

"There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind," Ford said.

No, idiot, the ones who get it later will be a generation ahead.

Windows Automotive??!! (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409630)

Oh God! Does this mean when the car won't start or mysteriously catches a virus that causes it to blow oil we have to wait for Patch Tuesday? Doh, I have to get to work and Patch Tuesday ain't for another three weeks. Even worse . . . what if, while driving, our copies of Windows Automotive suddenly decide to verify Genuine Advantage, fail, and the steering wheel disables? That'd be a bad day. Hehe!

Oh Joy! (1)

CBob (722532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409632)

One more thing to go wrong in that vast rolling sea of lowest bidder parts that requires specialized tools to work on. Metric, standard, hex/allen, Torx and "tamper resistant" all in 1 car already. Just imagine what fun this will add.

I also wonder if Ford and company will treat the data the same way they treat "their" proprietary data on the ECU's and such?

Emissions (1)

Indecision Bob (52021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409642)

This is far more important than reducing car emissions! Go Ford!

Yet another speech-driven mess (2, Insightful)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409650)

As a person with a moderate stutter (which gets worse while I'm driving, coincidentally), I'm getting pretty sick of everything going to speech recognition. According to the article, this system will be controlled this way as well. It's getting so I can do less and less in my environment unless I can speak fluently. Now I'm going to have to speak fluently to listen to the flippin' radio? Blech. And really, are we going to trust MS with speech recognition after this [youtube.com] ?

Besides, what's wrong with cars now? They go, the radios have knobs, and we all know how to run them. If we want to listen to music that doesn't exist on the radio, we have devices for that, too. And with many new cars now being released with jacks for mp3 players, seems to me the problems are pretty much solved. The way it works now, you can pick and choose what devices you want, install or order them, and you don't have to fight through a whole computer UI (and let's be honest, it probably won't be as intuitive as it could be) to get to the stuff you want.

And really, I hardly think the biggest problem that Ford currently has is the multimedia experience for its drivers. How about cars that run reliably first, and THEN turn your focus to how to bugger up my radio.

wifi access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17409666)

I will wifi your car, install uber leet hacker software and then break into you home network. Cause I hate Microsoft and I need to rebel.

Defensive measure against iPod dominance (1)

The Mutant (167716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409668)

Interesting article, but the part about "...downloading music..." made me wonder - given that by some estimates, by 2011 some 73 million cars will have iPod interfaces [ipodobserver.com] , is this a not so subtle way for Microsoft to fend off the dominance of Apple's iPod?

This is explains why (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409678)

I will be sticking with Honda:


Bill Ford and Bill Gates were reported as saying that having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future.


Offer me a reliable, efficent and comfortable car with simple and well thought out controls, price it affordably, and you'll get my business. I'd welcome a car with greater American made content, if it wasn't an insult to my intelligence.

This seems to repeat the problem Buick had for many years: creating pretentious cars with weirdly "innovative" dashboard controls that were nearly impossible to use. My mom had a buick in which the heat/ac lever was replaced with a thumbwheel you had to spin ten times to go from hot to cold; for feedback there was a bar graph that turned from red to blue -- useless in the dark of course. Buick once was the make your doctor drove. It wasn't a Cadillac or Packard, but it was a quality car for the upwardly mobile middle class. Stuffing new features in their cars didn't solidify the brand, it destroyed it. Buick is not a brand you associate with quality, performance or affordable luxury anymore. It's just another GM product line, and rumor is that like Oldsmobile, it is destined for the axe.

Great, another reason to avoid driving (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17409684)

Letsee...

Cell phones.
Blackberries.
Applying Makeup
Drinking Coffee.
Wearing earbuds (iPod)

Now we're going to put in a system that someone can send/receive email on their dash?

What ever happened to Keep your eyes on the road?

Has anybody seen the website http://www.platewire.com/ [platewire.com] ? It allows your to report bad drivers by location and license plate. I can't wait to see "was sending IM and swerved into my lane...." as a reason for reporting someone.

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