Microsoft cellphones to reduce distracted driving

Microsoft is updating its Windows software for cellphones Microsoft is updating its Windows software for cellphones to accommodate larger devices and make it easier for motorists to reduce distractions while driving. (Oct. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Attention multitaskers (and you know who you are): Microsoft is updating its Windows software for cellphones to make it easier to reduce distractions while driving.

A new "driving mode" will automatically silence incoming calls and texts so that you can focus on the road. You also can configure the feature to automatically send out a reply to say that you're driving.

It can be activated automatically when the phone is linked wirelessly with a Bluetooth device in the car, such as a headset. Apple has a "do not disturb" feature for iPhones, but that needs to be turned on manually.

What Microsoft's driving mode won't do is block outgoing calls or texts. And there will be ways to override it. It won't stop a teenager from texting while driving, but it will help reduce distractions for those who want that, says Greg Sullivan, director for Microsoft's Windows Phone business.

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