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Microsoft's TBox auto computer road-ready?

Marc Perton

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Fiat Punto

Remember the old joke about what would happen if Microsoft made cars? Well, it looks like the joke may be on us. Word is that Microsoft's in-car computer, the TBox, is good to go, with functionality that includes GPS, music control, electronic yellow pages, and access to vehicle diagnostics. According to Forrester Research, MS "has finally cracked the code with a working device that provides more functionality at a lower cost than anything else available today." All new Fiat models (like the Punto, pictured) are expected to include the system. It's not surprising that Microsoft wants into this market — auto computers are expected to be worth as much as $6 billion by 2010. Still, the idea of a car running something called "Windows Automotive" makes us a little nervous. As the joke says, if Microsoft made cars, "occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue."

[Thanks, Lester]

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