Microsoft has announced the release of Windows Embedded NavReady 2009, the company's first embedded operating system designed specially for manufacturers of GPS devices.

Based on Windows Embedded CE, the software, according to Microsoft, should provide companies with "powerful, innovative technologies to help them quickly bring to market smart, connected, service-oriented hand held portable devices that can easily connect to online services, Bluetooth capable mobile phones, Windows-based PCs, and the internet".

Features on the move

More specifically, these technologies include Live Search, which runs internet-based searches on your GPS to find up-to-date points of interest on the map, in much the same way that Live Search Maps does.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth technology offers all kinds of hands-free fun, including making phone calls, phonebook access and audio or video remote control.

Finally, incorporated MSN Direct technologies promise to deliver information such as traffic alerts and fuel prices, while Windows Sideshow compatibility allows your GPS to be used as a secondary screen for Vista-based PCs, should that kind of thing tickle your fancy.