The open source GENIVI Alliance, announced Monday, is mainly interested in "infotainment" and offers no threat to Microsoft's plans in the auto industry.
When I wrote about Microsoft's automotive plans the other day it was in the context of actually controlling the car, extending the current reach of systems that control breaking and power to actually driving the thing based on GPS.
GENIVI is building an In-Vehicle Infotainment platform, something that will let car companies re-use code on their entertainment services across car platforms and model years.
The idea is that, when consumer electronics comes up with new stuff, car outfits can support it more quickly. The hope is support for a unified platform will boost sales and let people take their stuff from car to car.
That's one element in automotive electronics. The others are vehicle maintenance and actually controlling the vehicle while it is in motion.
FlexRay, a networking system supported by GENIVI, could prove a good tool for maintenance. Its in-car testing schemes would let a mechanic know what's wrong even before you bring the car in for service.
The element that makes car travel hazardous, the human element, is not yet being addressed by GENIVI. And it may take years of innovation before it becomes possible, even on an experimental level.