Microsoft Out-Blackberry In for Ford’s next-gen car infotainment systems

Ford’s Sync in-car infotainment system was developed in association with global tech giant Microsoft. However, recent problems in the Ford touchscreen infotainment systems running the Microsoft SYNC software is making Ford rethink its tie up with the Redmond based software and hardware major. Another reason for Ford moving away from Microsoft for infotainment options is said to be the high licensing fee charged by the American tech major.

Ford SYNC Infotainment System Picture
Ford SYNC Infotainment System


The American manufacturer plans on ditching Microsoft – which has been the brain behind the first generation of the SYNC system – for rival mobile handset and business enterprise specialist BlackBerry. BlackBerry is believed to be the company that will be developing the next generation Sync in-car infotainment system for Ford. Instead of the current Windows version, Ford plans on using a software called QNX developed by BlackBerry for the next-gen SYNC infotainment system.

Ford is also believed to have considered Android as a choice of software but it is QNX which it has zeroed in on. The QNX operating system is a part of Audi and BMW infotainment systems as well.  Meanwhile, Ford has refused to comment on the infotainment system change and the company’s spokeswoman, Susannah Wesley has this to say,

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 or speculate on future products for competitive reasons.

Blackberry’s fortunes have been dwindling and the company is making desperate bids to survive. Integration with Ford’s infotainment system might be one such bid and expect BlackBerry powered Infotainment systems to debut in Ford cars by 2016. There is a war among tech companies to become dominant players in cars’ infotainment systems. While Google is promoting its Android system with General Motors, Honda, Hyundai,  Apple Inc. is working with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan other automakers to introduce its iOS operating system in cars.

Source Bloomberg