Windows Embedded Automotive (also previously known as Microsoft Auto, Windows CE for Automotive, Windows Automotive, and Windows Mobile for Automotive) is an embedded operating system based on Windows CE for use on computer systems in automobiles. The operating system is developed by Microsoft through the Microsoft Automotive Business Unit that formed in August 1995. The first automotive product built by Microsoft's Automotive Business Unit debuted on December 4, 1998 as the AutoPC, and also includes Ford Sync, Kia Uvo, and Blue&Me. Microsoft's Automotive Business Unit has built both the software platforms used for automotive devices as well as the devices themselves. The current focus is on the software platforms and includes two products, Microsoft Auto and Windows Automotive.
The Windows Embedded Automotive operating system was originally shipped with the AutoPC that was jointly-developed by Microsoft and Clarion. The system was released in December 1998, and referred to the operating system itself as "Auto PC". Microsoft's Auto PC platform was based on Windows CE 2.0, and had been announced in January of that year.
On October 16, 2000, Microsoft officially announced the next version of the platform. This version of the operating system was renamed to "Windows CE for Automotive" and had new applications preinstalled like the Microsoft Mobile Explorer.
On October 21, 2002, Microsoft announced that the platform would be renamed to "Windows Automotive". The version added support for development using the .NET Compact Framework.
With the release of Ford Sync, Microsoft renamed the platform from "Windows Mobile for Automotive" to "Microsoft Auto".
Microsoft again renamed the operating system as "Windows Embedded Automotive", and updated its version to 7 on October 19, 2010. This is the latest in MS Auto category, and is based on the Windows CE platform.
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