The unveiling this week of Apple's CarPlay in-car, hands-free iPhone user interface was met with an overall lack of enthusiasm.

Apple's iPhone users were clearly happy, but others saw it as simply another me-too -- and proprietary -- entry in the car technology market. Several wondered whether Apple can succeed if, as expected, it retains control of the technology and prevents access by third-party products.

Others cited Apple's failure to live up to its promises about past car tech products, such as iOS in the Car last year, and Siri Eyes Free in 2012.

That said, Computerworld offers a Tip of the Hat to Macworld reporter Dan Moren for pointing out in The real impact of CarPlay: It's the software, dummy that Apple can offer car owners something that's long been lacking -- expertise and interest in software development.

Moren notes that most automakers "aren't exactly consumed with a passion for developing software," much less updating it with new features. Apple, though, "does have a vested interest in keeping its software updated."

If so, CarPlay could be the beginning of a new era for in-car technology.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.