Clueless Ford to drop Microsoft vehicle tech for beleaguered BlackBerry

“Ford Motor Co., struggling with in-car technology flaws, will base the next-generation Sync system on BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX and no longer use Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, according to people briefed on the matter,” Craig Trudell and Jeff Green report for Bloomberg. “Using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system, the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public, said Feb. 22. Ford has more than 7 million vehicles on the road with Sync using Microsoft voice-activated software to make mobile-phone calls and play music.”

“The switch may help Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, address customer complaints about malfunctioning technology systems and touch screens that have hurt it in surveys by J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports,” Trudell and Green report. “For BlackBerry, it’s a vote of support for a company that lost 95 percent of its value from mid-2008 to November and saw the collapse of a proposed $4.7 billion buyout.”

“Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford has said the quality of its vehicles has been ‘mixed’ each of the past three years and fell short of its plan to improve those results in 2013. Ford and Lincoln ranked Nos. 26 and 27 out of 28 brands in Consumer Reports’ annual auto-reliability survey released in October,” Trudell and Green report. “The switch would be a significant blow to Microsoft’s automotive software business because Ford is by far its biggest customer, said Thilo Koslowski, auto analyst for researcher Gartner Inc.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In related news, Oldsmobile today announced plans to drop Palm-based vehicle systems for technology from Commodore.

Clueless Ford remains an island of crap surrounded by an iOS ocean. (That simple statement should be written on every whiteboard in Ford’s HQ until their execs’ heads finally pop out of their asses, if that is even possible with them so deeply wedged.)

iOS users want their devices to work seamlessly with their vehicles. iOS users have disposable income and the proven will to spend it. Smart vehicle makers court iOS users.

Obviously, Ford remains highly confused. You want A-P-P-L-E, dummies! You want A-P-P-L-E, because the people with M-O-N-E-Y want A-P-P-L-E, morons. Not Microsoft. Not QNX. Not anything else.

A-P-P-L-E = M-O-N-E-Y, fools. Henry Ford on a popsicle stick!

So far the list of smart manufacturers who are exploring or have deployed iOS in the Car and/or Siri Eyes Free includes:
• Acura
• Audi
• Buick
• Chevrolet
• Chrysler
• Ferrari
• Ford
• General Motors
• Holden
• Honda
• Hyundai
• Infiniti
• Jaguar
• Kia
• Land Rover
• Mercedes-Benz
• Nissan
• Opel (Vauxhall)
• Toyota
• Volvo

Related articles:
ABI Research: Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ to be No. 1 in-vehicle system by 2018 – November 1, 2013
General Motors adds Apple’s Siri Eyes Free to more vehicles following ‘remarkable’ customer response – October 16, 2013
Hidden contacts revealed within Apple’s iOS in the Car – August 8, 2013
Automakers integrate Apple’s iOS in the Car to minimize driver distraction, increase customer satisfaction – July 30, 2013
Why Apple is planning aggressive 2014 launch for ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 26, 2013
Why Tim Cook described Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy as ‘very important’ – July 25, 2013
Apple has its eyes on automakers with ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 5, 2013
Ford plummets to 27th in J.D. Power vehicle quality rankings on Microsoft-developed ‘MyFord Touch’ woes – June 20, 2012


  1. I have a 2013 Ford Flex; love the car but the sync system is really awful. The interface isn’t bad for a Microsoft product, but the functionality is really poor.

  2. iOS already has “over-the-air sync when powered.”

    When will a car manufacturer put 802.11 wireless in their car so that when you pull into your garage your iOS-based car system can update itself?

  3. if MDN thinks QNX is incapable of providing the same level of in-car multi-platform communication and linking technology as anything Apple might conceivably do (but has not done yet, because Apple is now slower than ever), then MDN is clearly ignorant of QNX technology. Think of the best integrated infotainment car system you’ve ever used — it probably was QNX. Not MS, and not Apple. Competition is good for everyone. Moreover, you can’t claim Apple is better when the only automotive integration Apple has done is vague press releases and future “exciting pipeline” promises from Cook..

    We all hope Apple can get it right, but until they do, QNX remains the high point of automotive electronics.

  4. rented a ford excort i HI last year on vacation. It had Sync. Wow, the navigation display to use the settings for my iphone was 1 hour of trial and error. Sometimes the usb jack would play the audio, sometimes the bluetooth would play the audio. When you plug and unplug the iphone, you had to figure out if the bluetooth or usb jack was in control. Finally turned off everything off except for 3g for gps and used usb connector for audio.

  5. Edited your list to reflect realities of badge engineering.

    • Audi (Sub of VW)
    • BMW
    • Chrysler/Ferrari (subs of FIAT)
    • Ford
    • GM-Opel/Vauxhall)/Holden/Buick/Crapolet
    • Honda/Acura
    • Hyundai/Kia
    • Jaguar/Land Rover (subs of Tata)
    • Mercedes-Benz
    • Nissan/Infiniti
    • Toyota
    • Volvo

    That list was more than a little padded.

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