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4. In-Car Computers > 48. Choose an in-Car PC Software Platform

Choose an in-Car PC Software Platform

You can use any major operating system for your in-car PC. Here are a few pointers to help you decide.

The major choices for an in-car operating system are the same as for a desktop: Windows, Linux, and, if you “think different,” Mac OS X. The primary deciding factors are what software you want to run, what hardware you want to run it on, and of course what system is easiest for you to work with.

Windows

Windows XP is your most flexible choice in terms of hardware and software support. Though you can run older versions of Windows, such as Windows 2000 or Windows 98, most of the car computer application development occurs on XP.

Windows tends to have support for the latest multimedia features. I know that sounds very buzzwordy, but it isn’t intended to be; it merely means that you get the best driver support, both hardware and software, when using the latest version of the Windows OS. If you’re trying to run the latest DVD software with surround sound, a handful of video game emulators, and some 3D games, as well as supporting a number of USB networking, storage, and input devices, you’ll have the smoothest experience if you run XP.


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