Microsoft shows off Windows in the Car, its answer to Apple’s CarPlay

It wasn't long ago that Apple revealed its CarPlay in-car entertainment system, and now Microsoft has shown off a concept for its own system at the recent Build conference.

The idea is to hook up your Windows Phone handset to a central touchscreen console (just as with CarPlay and iOS), allowing you to access apps and content such as your music while you're on the go.

Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant which is due to arrive with Windows Phone 8.1 (in beta in the US, mind, as Cortana won't pitch up until the second half of the year in the UK), was also mentioned as regards voice control, bringing her navigation and reminder skills on board – and also making the endeavour hands-free and safer, of course.

Redmond's system is actually based on MirrorLink, an existing standard for hooking up mobile devices with cars, which certain manufacturers are already working with (Citroen, Honda, Toyota and VW on the car front, Alpine and Pioneer in terms of the actual hardware, Engadget notes).

Windows Phone owners shouldn't get too excited at this point, though – this is still very much in the demo/concept stage. CarPlay is much further forward than that, of course, and even then we're not exactly sure when that will land.

Still, given that Microsoft is trying to dominate every sphere of life with Windows and live tiles, the car is a major area the company isn't likely to ignore...