Is Microsoft Killing Us Softly? Or Have We Hardly Noticed?

OnStarDoes Microsoft seem to be surfacing more and more in the automotive systems technology at Dealers & OEMs? Has it been embedded in all industry systems all along?

New Management in Bellevue: With changing of management at Microsoft, what does this mean to the automotive retail and dealer distribution channel? And how “deep” is Microsoft in the systems development and applications now and in the future at both the OEM and dealership levels

Most Recent Visibility at NADA 2014: Dominion Dealer Services leadership was resolute about its partnering with Microsoft at the recent NADA press conference in New Orleans. You can see and hear a rather long video that tends to be really all about DDS and not so much about how Microsoft and the DDS systems, like Market Center. CMX, CRM and Reputation management can be integrated into a dealer’s existing system and way of doing business.

What This week’s Business Week Seeks to Explain: If you read the article in this week’s Business Week, “Time for Microsoft to Tap Its Inner Google” you will find a paragraph or two about how Microsoft is really working to get more “inside” Ford with its partnership. The article makes it clear that Google has most of the other OEM systems nailed down with their technology.

Somehow it seems that Microsoft is “there” in a dealer’s operation but just not sure other than the use of the tools of Microsoft office,

Microsoft at NADA in years past: Microsoft keeps showing up as an active exhibitor at NADA in recent years. They apparently have licensed and created partnerships with a number of automotive systems vendors, like Ryantech, that provide technology solutions as well as web and PC software to the automotive industry with the primary purpose of improving efficiencies one dealer at a time.

Over the years, RyanTech has had successes in building out infrastructure and systems for many of the most popular sites in automotive technology, be it Vehix.com or Car.com, Carsdirect.com or Chrome Systems, AAA.com, CUDL Autosmart, or Dealer.com.

What is Microsoft’s “Automotive Solution” called?

By nosing around, you find that while Microsoft has the Embedded Automotive Software they are actually reportedly trailing both Google and Apple in getting their systems infrastructure into the OEMs. Though they do have Ford, Fiat, Kia and Nissan.

Embedded Automotive provides a flexible, robust, high-performance platform that enables car makers and suppliers to create differentiated, market-driven vehicles. Support for a variety of microprocessor technologies provides the flexibility of using the system architecture that matches the requirements of car makers. With more than ten years in the automotive space, Microsoft is invested in fueling connected car innovations that go beyond the typical in-car entertainment system.

GM and Microsoft in bed early:  

GM appeared or appears to be more involved with Microsoft than is being reported. For example, they claim to be the first with a remote car link with Windows smartphones even though automakers largely have ignored in their connectivity suites until the last year or so.

Called RemoteLink, GM says it’s the “first remote telemetry app from an automaker to work on all four primary smartphone platforms – iPhone, Android, Blackberry and now Microsoft Windows phones.”

The Real Impact of Microsoft:  It is apparent the Microsoft, Google, and Apple are going to change the entire automotive industry dramatically — so we had best really pay attention and learn all we can about new systems and technology.

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