Microsoft wants to take Windows in a new direction.
The software maker announced on Monday its plans for NavReady 2009, a customized version of Windows Embedded that's specifically designed to power in-car navigation systems. The software is based on Windows CE, the slimmed-down version of Windows that is used for Windows Mobile.
Some GPS makers, such as Mio, already use Windows CE, though Microsoft says it is adding support for several new features with this navigation-specific release. New features include support for Live Search, Bluetooth, and MSN Direct, which allows real-time traffic and gas prices. NavReady 2009 should start showing up in devices starting this holiday season, Microsoft said.
This is not the first time Microsoft has tried to tailor its general-purpose Windows Embedded operating system to the needs of a particular market. Most recently, it created a version for cash registers. But even Windows Mobile itself was an attempt to tailor the generic operating system for a specific market.
The next version of the point-of-sale software, dubbed POSReady, is due out some time next year, Microsoft said Monday.