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“Informative, entertaining and productive” or “No escape”?

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Tech and car companies are convinced you’ll want to stay connected:

    With flat-panel displays, global positioning satellites, DVD video and cheaper computing power, U.S. drivers will be able to recreate their offices and living rooms while on the go, manufacturers say.

    “More and more people want their commuting time to be informative, entertaining and productive,” said Gonzalo Bustillos, who heads marketing at Microsoft Corp.’s Automotive Business Unit.

    The world’s largest software maker is betting it will play a role in the coming years beyond desktop PCs, a market it dominates with its Windows operating system.

    Commuters in the United States spend more than 550 million hours per week in their cars, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, making the automobile a virtual second home for many people.

    ….Clarion Co. Ltd.’s Joyride system, which is powered by Microsoft software, is a car audio system in the dashboard that includes a DVD player, the ability to play MP3 digital music files, controls for a CD changer and a flat-panel display as well as a navigation system.

    ….Microsoft, which has been trying to get its software into cars since 1995, admits it hasn’t been easy to convince drivers that they need yet another computer in their cars.

    That may change, however, with new concepts such as “G-Book,” an auto PC system developed jointly by Microsoft and Toyota Motor Corp. for cars in Japan. “G-Book” lets drivers access information on the Web, control their home appliances and sing karaoke in their cars — for a monthly fee.

    Indeed, delivering entertainment is becoming a key strategy for auto PC developers, rather than trying to bring e-mail and work-related functionality into cars. [Reuters]

You know as well as I do that if you CAN get at your email, you WILL get at your email – most people still se the car as a place to escape from such things.

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About Eric Olsen