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Ford seen ditching Microsoft for Blackberry in future cars
DetroitNews


Ford Motor Co. plans to ditch Microsoft Corp. for Blackberry Ltd. for future upgrades to its Sync voice-activated system, according to a source with knowledge of the plans.

The Dearborn automaker for years has been plagued with software problems on Sync and its MyFord Touch infotainment system that have stained the company’s vehicle quality ratings. Ford could make the switch from Microsoft to Blackberry and its QNX operating system this year or next. QNX, acquired by Blackberry in 2010, has quickly begun replacing the Windows operating system as a popular choice for in-car automobile software.

Ford has built more than 10 million vehicles worldwide that are equipped with Sync, which allows customers to make phone calls, change radio stations and find nearby destinations without taking their hands off the wheel. The automaker could easily update the software of those vehicles already equipped with Sync to the Blackberry software, said the person.

Ford, when asked about the future shift from Microsoft to Blackberry, did not deny the plans.

“Ford and Microsoft are longtime partners, and we continue working together for the future,” Ford spokeswoman Susannah Wesley said in an emailed statement to The Detroit News. “Ford works with a variety of partners and suppliers to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers. We do not discuss details of our work with others for competitive reasons. We are absolutely committed to leading and innovating the smart technologies and in-vehicle connectivity that our customers want and value.”

A Blackberry representative referred an inquiry to a QNX representative, who did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

The QNX operating system is already available in BMW and Audi vehicles and QNX software is used in car radios. Other automakers are pairing up with other tech companies, like Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

Thilo Koslowski, a vice president at technology research firm Gartner Inc., said in an email that QNX has “proven itself in the marketplace.” QNX is less risky for automakers because of its flexibility, particularly with HTML5, a browser-based standard that allows developers to create applications that can run on any modern web-enabled device.

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This could be happening sooner than we know. The most recent S-MAX and Edge Concepts have no Microsoft logos and there is no mention of Microsoft. Apple does not offer an in-car OS, so QNX is the next best option.
 

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I don't blame them, the Microsoft connection has been a complete disaster.
 

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Interesting. Research in Motion excels in hardware and user interface design. That could make all the difference here. So that should mean integration of Email, calendar management, messaging, etc. I like this plan.
 

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Interesting choice given BB's current condition, that being on life-support. Given Sync and most/all in car systems are ARM based there is no reason Apple or Google couldn't use iOS or Android, if fact Google is working on Android for cars. Android controls around two thirds of the smartphone market so it would be a good choice and would make it easy to integrate those customers phones into the system.

Either way it has to be better than Microsoft!
 

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Interesting choice given BB's current condition, that being on life-support. Given Sync and most/all in car systems are ARM based there is no reason Apple or Google couldn't use iOS or Android, if fact Google is working on Android for cars. Android controls around two thirds of the smartphone market so it would be a good choice and would make it easy to integrate those customers phones into the system.

Either way it has to be better than Microsoft!
If this all goes well, it could really help BlackBerry's image! Ford is a very widespread brand.
 

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Doesn't iTunes connected via USB have better quality than a regular CD? Just asking because I really don't know.

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Downloaded music is in a compressed format where a CD is not so the CD will technically sound better. The flip side of that coin is most people will not hear the difference with current compression technology.
 

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Thank God, I can't wait until this divorce happens.

Microsoft is also undergoing major restructuring to save it's future and I fully expect them to shed this failed and unsalvageable and dead-end business very quickly now.

And don't listen to those who say MFT/MLT is just fine now, they got the bugs out. No it isn't, and no they haven't. It has to go, development needs to move into a new direction and Microsoft doesn't have its sh*t together.

Ford needs to own its platform since there will never be universality in this business. For example, do you think Microsoft would help Ford enable iOS in the car? Nope, conflict of interest, it's not an open platform. Ford will be the only one who can't do this because of that partnership.
 
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