back to article Microsoft chases satnav market

Microsoft has announced a new iteration of Windows Embedded, this time targeted at satellite navigation hardware, although it sneaks in a sideshow capability to keep the Windows Vista connection alive. Windows Embedded NavReady is apparently aimed at Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and includes Windows Live Search and MSN …


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  1. Richard Gadsden


    Does the bluetooth support A2DP? If not, then there's not a lot of point using this against the sound system, is there?

  2. Ian Hallsworth

    Where do you want to go today?

    i'll get me coat

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Surely it will.. or it'll be like Vista, and make your whole car slow...somehow! :D

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Where's the analysis in this article?

    Why is this new software relevant? Some of the crappest satnavs on the market already use WinCE [1], what's going to motivate manufacturers and/or end users to move to this new product (other than "Bill says so" - the approach which worked so well with Vista in the corporate market).

    [1] Maybe some decent ones too, but the WinCE ones I have personal experience of are, not surprisingly, like comparing a Psion OS with a piece of *hi*.

  5. Tony Humphreys


    Sorry, there has been an error in wft-am-i.exe

    Please restart your journey and try again!

  6. Eponymous Cowherd

    This car has performed an illegal operation.....

    And will be shut down until the cops arrive.

  7. James Dunmore

    Hey, it looks like....

    In a true "clippy" style, you can see it now... half way on your drive to Mancester, up pops clippy, "it looks like your trying to drive to london, would you like to send an email to London to let them know you are coming"

    It'll end badly.

    Brings a whole new meaning to "blue screen of death"

  8. Steve

    Kernel Panic?

    <Troll feeding>

    Surely the current ones do that are based on a Linux kernel?

    Or maybe it'll be like SuSE and make your entire system drag..... :D

    </Troll feeding>

  9. ben

    Crashes ahead

    Visions of a blue screen of death, as the M$ satnav navigates you over a cliff.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too late, missed the boat

    embedded guys have started to see the Linux light...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good God.

    I can't tell the trolls from the people who actually believe what they type anymore.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Get Live search into cars?


    I get in my car, I power up the sat nav, type in the post code and off we go. What the hell do I want live search for? or is the sodding thing going to chip in with crap like

    "It looks like you've been driving for a bit. Maybe you'd like some food? I can find a McCrappy for you"


    "You might be running out of fuel. I can find a petrol station for you"

    and of course finally

    "You were so busy trying to shut me up you drove into another car. Do you need me to find a recovery service for you"

    And what's this Sideshow stuff - is it like Sideshow bob or something? Surely distracting me with crap on my sat nav is worse than using a mobile phone without hands free?

    Comedy voices : do they include Bill "Monotone" Gates and Steve "Mad" Ballmer?

  13. Peter Labrow

    Yet another diversion.... excuse the pun

    Microsoft should concentrate on getting Vista fit for purpose/getting the market to accept it and stop getting sidetracked into other markets.

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Good God.

    >>I can't tell the trolls from the people who actually believe what they type anymore.

    I know. The internet is broken.

  15. Svein Skogen

    Ehh. Not good.

    Given Microsofts track record of accuracy in maths (excel is a good example, isn't it?), I dread to see the routing capabilities of a gps-device with a ui built on this. How long until they are universally banned, for environment protection? Navigation is basically just maths, and given microsofts track record, it wouldn't surprise me if the 3km trip to the local shop was "faster" via Saturn...


  16. Cavehomme
    Gates Horns


    Stand back World, Microsoft is innovating again!

    What a bunch of to$$ers, they have no clue whatsoever beyond trying to monopolise markets. I used to respect them until about 2-3 years ago when all the various chickens came home to roost.

    Where there is money, there is microsoft playing games, way behind any sense of innovation as known by other human beings.

  17. Aodhhan

    Wrong direction

    We need a system which will jam all these "tracking" applications.

    With cell phones, auto systems and various other wireless items having features which track where you are located.... give me a product which will jam them all so nobody knows where I am at any given moment.

    Soon everything from your drivers license to your watch will have some sort of RFID or wireless feature for tracking. Beware of SWAG, the new spy-ware.

  18. Wonderkid

    Blue sky of death...

    ..."In 100 metres, please turn... crackle sound"


    Driver: B*llocks, what do I do?

    Car (powered by Linux): "F*ck knows, ask BILL BILL"

    Driver: Bill Bill is pulling a sickie.

    Car: I warned you when we went to Halfords. Next time, you know what to buy!

    Driver: SkyNet? I am having issues with my technology, please initiate an immediate intercept and take me home. I'm taking the bus...

  19. bluesxman

    Where do you want to crash today?

    That is all.

  20. Mage Silver badge


    Almost all existing SatNavs / PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices) use Linux.

    Even the new Archos 605 GPS. An up to 160Gbyte PMP with WiFi, Opera, WebTV/Radio, 800x480 touch screen.

    Microsoft a bit late I think.

  21. Law
    Gates Halo

    May god have mercy on our souls

    I have a bluetooth enabled car curtosy of M$'s Blu&Me collaboration with Fiat (and possibly others). It's possibly the worst example of a media player/handsfree system I have ever seen. First off - we had to change my phone because it wouldn't play nice with the newer phones (the car was newer than the phone, my phone was over a year old at the time!?). It had a habit of just disconnecting and ignoring all voice commands. It had an update feature, which is awesome, except they have never enabled the server to serve updates to these units. M$ should not be allowed to do this - if they control where people are going too this is the beginning of the end.

    Having said that - I would gleefully take their anal-pummeling than agree to pay a congestion charge just for using the M60. Manchester council should sponsor them as a congestion saving tool - by disposing of people who follow their nav units religiously.

    Angel gates - because it's not his fault anymore!! :)

  22. Dangerous Dave
    Paris Hilton

    winCE satnav

    I was unfortunate enough to own one of these said WinCE based satnavs a couple of years ago. it was a cheap locked down pocket PC that was bascially turned on its side and fitted with a suction mount with some crappy "Destinator" software thrown on the sd card.

    On a trip from Leeds to Sheffield it finally found a satellite signal just south of Barnsley. Useless. Sent it back after a week and got a tomtom One G2 which i've been happy with ever since

    /Paris - Cos she never needs to ask for directions

  23. Jamie

    Would you honestly trust it?

    Windows OS running on a device you are trusting to get you to your destination being run on an OS that is famous for being bloated and attracting more viri than anything else.

  24. Richard


    Considering how much computing power is needed to run this, you'll need to clear out your boot (trunk) to install a PC to run it, and plumb it into your car's radiator system. You'll also need to install a new alternator on the engine rated at 5kW. I'd hate to imagine what that would do to your fuel consumption, but at least the journey will be leisurely enoguh for Fista to be able to keep up with plotting your current position.

  25. Chris Thorpe


    On a laptop, SideShow tells you a bunch of Don't Need to Know info when the lid is closed. So presumably SideShow for Cars will slap an LCD on the outside of the door that can display messages like 'It looks like your car is being stolen...'.

  26. RW
    Jobs Halo

    @ Svein Skogen & Cavehomme

    SS: "Given Microsofts track record..."

    CH: "Stand back World, Microsoft is innovating again! ,,,Where there is money, there is microsoft playing games, way behind any sense of innovation as known by other human beings"

    Do the higher ups at Microsoft realize that their company has an unenviable reputation for (a) being late to the party when an innovation surfaces and (b) missing the point and getting their own version terribly, terribly wrong?

    If I were in an automobile and found out it was being driven using an MS GPS system, I'd jump out the window while I was still able to.

    Perhaps Ballmer et cie think they are above such mundane things as "reputation", but somehow I just can't believe that when a company has become a laughing stock, there won't be knockback effects on its business. At the moment they're still able to fool clueless executives, much like IBM used to, but there are innumerable knowledgeable IT workers who, if asked, will say "anything but Microsoft, anything!"

    Prediction: just as IBM was blindsided by the advent of the PC, Microsoft will be blindsided by some unexpected development coming out of left field. It won't be Linux, and it won't be Apple, but one of these days somebody, somewhere is going to introduce a product that will make the entire current generation of desktop computers obsolete overnight.

    Further prediction: if MS broke itself up, disentangled applications from their OS and forced the apps to make their way in the world on their own merit, rather than piggybacking on the OS, Windows would be immensely improved, the apps would be immensely improved, and guess what? MS would make even more money than it does today. But Ballmer & his buddies are so addicted to their present bundling-based business model, I don't see this happening.

  27. Rich

    reminds me of an old advert in the US :)

  28. Steven Raith


    Will using MSconfig and Bootvis get you to your destination faster?

    My coat is the one with the A-Z in the pocket...

    Steven R

    [I was going to use the tenous car/MS link to suggest that maybe you could switch off SuperFetch, indexing and Aero to get an extra eleventy horsepower, VTEC kicking in yo, etc but decided that would be too tenous and car/computer geek, even for me. Although you could argue that msconfig tweaking and bootvis would be the computer equivelant of dropping Super HICAS into a Mondeo - quicker off the line but no more powerful than before....OK, I'll stop now..]

  29. Larry


    Let's call it what it is, that is a GPS.

  30. adrian sietsma
    Gates Halo

    MS GPS : Please Please Please

    It would be a (real) hackers paradise : imagine what fun you could have. Persuading people they are in another country; Left-Right reversal of selected maps; Bogus speed limits (with warnings about speed cameras) ;

    bonus points for DDOS'ing an entire freeway.

    St. Bill, for providing a new and entertaining hobby for nerds.


  31. James Prior
    Thumb Down

    @ Larry

    "Let's call it what it is, that is a GPS"

    Not quite. GPS (Global Positioning System) tells you what your current position is based on a bunch of flying things in the sky. That's your static position (which can be updated in real time). You can buy a GPS device that has no route planning - typically used by ramblers or other people interested in outdoor pursuits.

    SatNav takes advantage of GPS to plot a route from your current location (this is the GPS bit) to a destination you select.

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