Ford Dumps Microsoft for BlackBerry

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Ford Dumps Microsoft MyFordTouch for BlackBerry QNX

Ford has decided to leave Microsoft for Blackberry with third generation Sync system. The automobile company has repeatedly been hit with unsatisfactory customer surveys for its current in-car connectivity system. On Thursday Ford unveiled the third generation of its Sync system and has promised it will have a simpler, more natural voice-command interface.

This comes as a surprise to many because Ford has worked with Microsoft on Sync for more than seven years. The Sync 3 is moving on to BlackBerry’s QNX instead of their MyFord Touch System. Customers have had several issues with the responsiveness and ease of use in times past and the auto giant is seeking to rectify those concerns.

The new Sync 3 will feature sharper graphics with a much brighter touch screen which allows the pinch-to-zoom as well as other multi-touch functions. The interface has been totally revamped with three zone options on the home screen and a one-box search which simplifies looking for contacts or locations. The buttons onscreen are larger and font styles have been adjusted to make viewing when driving easier.

Although it has not been clarified which vehicle will be the first to debut the new relationship, by the end of 2016 over half the Ford and Lincoln fleet of United States vehicles will feature the new Sync 3, according to Don Butler. After which the platform will continue its expansion globally. Ford’s global direction of electrical and electronic systems engineering, Sherif Marakby, said:

It is doing everything better.

Senior analyst for, Michele Krebs, said the name of the platform is not as important as the ease of use and quality of function. The MyFord Touch was great during its season as a modern-day advancement but now it is time for another upgrade. Krebs added:

Whatever they want to call it, good riddance MyFord Touch.

First generation Sync was introduced to the auto giant back in 2007. This innovative platform was well received for its ability to connect owner’s vehicles to their smartphone. Three years later the second generation was called MyFord Touch which included voice recognition and a large touch-screen for commands. The system failed to meet the standards of Ford lovers and has resulted in many unsatisfied customers.

BlackBerry purchased the QNX Software Systems back in 2010 from Harman International for nearly $200 million. The once dominant smart phone company has banked on this acquisition as part of its return to favor within the business community. QNX is the power behind BlackBerry’s Playbook tablet and BB10 operating system. The QNX Software, BlackBerry Messenger and its enterprise software business are the key candidates for the company’s drastic turnaround.

As before, Sync will still need to connect through the owner’s smartphone or digital device. Now, though, owners will see three choices: phone, audio and navigation on the home screen as opposed to the many options of times past. Drivers now have a much better chance of being understood by Sync’s voice recognition system. Blackberry has a high functioning voice navigational system that will no longer require drivers to speak long addresses or say the words extremely slowly. Switching from Microsoft to BlackBerry is a win-win for the company and its customers.

by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


Computer World