Microsoft today announced the availability of Windows Embedded NavReady 2009, which is a variant of Windows Embedded "designed specifically for OEMs building handheld portable navigation devices (PNDs)" more popularly known as GPS devices.
Windows Embedded NavReady 2009 delivers innovative technologies to help developers and OEMs quickly bring to market smart, connected, service-oriented PNDs that easily connect to online services, mobile phones using Bluetooth, Windows-based PCs and the Internet. Based on Windows Embedded CE, Windows Embedded NavReady 2009 builds upon a decade of experience and success that the Windows Embedded Business has achieved by helping developers and OEMs simplify the development, user experience and maintenance of their PND designs.
Frankly, this is a bit of a head scratcher, since the big 3 of standalone GPS devices (Garmin, TomTom, and MiTAC) have managed to saturate the market without any help from Microsoft and are now mostly worried about competition from GPS functionality added to other devices like cellphones, a notable example of which was Apple’s iPhone 3G which was announced last week. Notably, the only OEM mentioned in the announcement as a prospective customer for Windows Embedded NavReady 2009 is Mio Technology (a subsidiary of MiTAC who also has the NavMan brand) which apparently thinks there’s a pony in the connectivity options.