Microsoft Still In The Race To Be Part Of Ford’s Next-gen Sync System

My Ford Touch

Last week we reported about Bloomberg claiming that Ford is planning to switch from Windows to Blackberry’s QNX OS for their next-generation Sync system. The report said that Ford is expecting that the QNX based SYNC system will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system.

However, the real story seems to be different. Speaking to CNET at MWC, Ford managing director Pin van der Jagt revealed that
Ford is always questioning and evaluating suppliers and in the same process they are re-evaluating the Microsoft deal as part of normal business.

“Sync 1 and 2 was done with Microsoft but we are not married with them. For us, it’s a supplier, so every time we keep evaluating is it the right partner,” he said.

This does not mean Microsoft is out and QNX is in. He commented the following on the Bloomberg’s report,

“That is a rumor. What we are in the process of, we are spec’ing out our requirements for the next generation: what we want to do, what features we want to add, what functionality. Then you go through a normal supply selection process. Those requirements for the next generation get sent out to everybody, to Microsoft, to Apple, to everybody, and they come back with offers… We go to evaluation and make a choice and that choice hasn’t been made yet.”

Hopefully, Microsoft will be able to satisfy Ford’s needs with Windows.

Source: CNET

  • Vincent Haakmat

    With WP8 interface being a great success among first time users, I think Microsoft can make a good case with the Sync 3, borrowing from WP8 and W8.1 enhancements.

    • whatup12

      yes, but issue seems to be really about whether Ford will give them control over implementation. I don’t think AAPL would allow anyone to mess with their interface as it has the potential to make them look bad as this recent experience did for MSFT. I think they need to ensure more control over the final product as they make decision whether it is worthwhile to really go for it. ie, is it a pathway to introduce other to windows platform? to deliver MSFT or Here products?

      • Nham Thien Duong

        True, the whole power of Windows Embedded & Windows C.E. has always been that you can work around it to look and act however YOU want, not how Microsoft wants it, if the people at Ford want it to look and function like A, they won’t go for B, if Microsoft will say that B is the ONLY way they could implement it, then they’ll alienate various O.E.M.’s and costumers, this is why Windows Embedded & Windows C.E. have always been successful, they put the power in the hands of the company that purchases it, not in the hands of Microsoft.

  • rjmlive

    Whatever it is, Microsoft has to do a much better job. I was considering a new Ford Edge but the reviews of the Sync have made my decision not to. Car tech in general needs much better hardware to power their interfaces. From my research, QNX is the best possible platform. I don’t know as much about Microsoft Embedded however.

    • Smith

      New Ford cards come with sync 2 which have a very good performance. I just got one recently and no problem at all and everything works fine. Maybe you are reading reviews from 3,4 years ago with sync 1. But new cars with sync 2 are just great. Go try it don’t just reviews. People that don’t have Ford cars can come and write crappy review for Sync becuase they don’t like Ford or Microsoft. You won’t believe what people do these days to trash company or brands they don’t like!

      • rjmlive

        Fair enough, I’d have to try it in real life, but generally speaking they use 2 year old technology and absolute minimum resources. It may reduce complexity to be fair, but getting in a car that isn’t old for a car (say 2008) and having it chug along on tech equivalent to 2006.. really dampens the experience. That said, if it works it works.

        My next vehicle is likely going to be a new Jeep Cherokee. I played with the Uconnect. Seems responsive and decent. I’m sure the new Sync is alright too. I’m bridging the gap of one of those people that chooses a car based on it’s tech. Not completely, but it’s more important than it used to be.

  • David

    I had Sync 1 in my car and I liked. It was way ahead of any other cars but I have to admit that sometimes touch and performance in general was not great. It was ever awful or bad but it could be much better.
    Now I have sync 2 in my new car and I have to tell this time it works mucs moother, faster and better for touch. It is just more sensitive to touch and more responsive. I have to tell sync 2 is is very good performance improvemnet over sync 1.
    Sync 1 didn’t suppot Zune or Some of Windows Phone features but Sync 2 does and cover almost all devices.
    But when you look at the Windows 8.1 performance and upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 you know that Microsoft can make Sync even better, faster, smoother, with lots of cool new features. Because simply they can and have a technology and capabilities.
    I think Ford should stick with Microsoft for next generation. They already worked on sync for many years and both know what they want and can do. It is just logical and I hope Ford will continue with Microsoft for sync 3.