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Microsoft's "Sync" to be integrated into Ford models
When MTV pimps your ride, it will also come with security updates

As 2007 dawns on us, automaker Ford and software powerhouse Microsoft are expected to announce plans for Windows based, in-car computers.

Sync, the title of the new line of software, cannot yet drive our cars for us, but will help drivers with their computing in important ways.  Once the new Windows software is integrated into new Ford vehicles, cosumers will be able to utilize the handsfree cell phone capabilities, media downloads, automatic navigation updates and e-mail.

No comments have been made by Ford representatives, but Microsoft officials have acknowledged the joint announcement of the project.  The public can expect the announcements to be made during media days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, beginning Jan. 7, and the Consumer Electronics Show which opens Jan. 6.

The Wall Street Journal released information stating that the technology will be available in two models of the 2007 Ford lineup.  It is expected to be available for all Ford models in 2008.  It is also said to be integrated into Lincoln and Mercury models in the future.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, in a quote to The Detroit Free Press, said that to set apart car companies in the future, vehicles will have features such as HD screens, voice recognition, electronic calenders, cameras and navigation systems that include road and traffic conditions.  The upcoming Sync project will provide a platform to centralize and standardize all of those functions.


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i don't know about you guys....
By Fenixgoon on 12/30/2006 10:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, in a quote to The Detroit Free Press, said that to set apart car companies in the future, vehicles will have features such as HD screens, voice recognition, electronic calenders, cameras and navigation systems that include road and traffic conditions. The upcoming Sync project will provide a platform to centralize and standardize all of those functions.


but the fewer electronics in my car, the better. i'm no race driver with leet skills, but i'll taking shifting myself over the car doing it for me any day. same with parking, same with braking.

not to mention, styling and engine/transmission still have meaning with some people :P




RE: i don't know about you guys....
By Zulli85 on 12/30/2006 10:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
Bring on the technology, the more the merrier. This is some pretty amazing stuff that is being planned for the future.


RE: i don't know about you guys....
By jdawgnoonan on 12/30/2006 10:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
Talk about some pointless crap...just what we need people doing while driving: Managing downloads. This is just one more thing to keep people from focusing on the most important part of driving...driving.

I reiterate, this is pointless crap.


By isaacmacdonald on 12/31/2006 2:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
This was my immediate reaction as well. Technology that qualitatively improves cars (eg: safety or GPS) is one thing, but this sounds completely superfluous. Nonetheless, this seems likely to be geared towards soccer moms with annoying children to shuttle around, so hopefully this won't be a standard feature in the foreseeable future.


RE: i don't know about you guys....
By Griswold on 12/31/2006 3:23:53 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing wrong with many of these gizmos, as long as they're not available to the driver.


RE: i don't know about you guys....
By joeld on 12/30/2006 11:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
I suck at parking -- I wish my car could do it for me!


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 12/31/2006 12:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
Get an LS460? :)


RE: i don't know about you guys....
By Fibbly on 12/31/2006 5:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
:O


Relevant information.....
By crystal clear on 12/31/2006 12:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
"Once the new Windows software is integrated into new Ford vehicles, cosumers will be able to utilize the handsfree cell phone capabilities, media downloads, automatic navigation updates and e-mail"

What about some music?MP3 or Ipod or Zune capabilities.

If everything is so centralized then why not give information about the condition of my car,my speed,my over speed warning, & others etc thats relevant to the car itself
& my driving.




RE: Relevant information.....
By mindless1 on 12/31/2006 6:39:26 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry no music, it was decided that wouldn't take the driver's eyes off the road for long enough.


RE: Relevant information.....
By crystal clear on 1/1/2007 2:36:23 PM , Rating: 1
Then sexy women next to you would take your(the driver)
eyes of the road for long enough.Drive only with FAT women.


RE: Relevant information.....
By mindless1 on 1/3/2007 6:31:57 AM , Rating: 2
Keep them off the sidwalks too. I always thought those commercials where guys on bikes wrecked from rubbernecking women were a bit unbelievable, but then (LOL) I rear-ended someone in traffic doing same thing. Unbelievable what a grill, headlamp lenses and bumper fascia cost these days. !@#$% jacked up pickup trucks should't be allowed to have rear bumpers that far off the ground.


Wow.
By Tyrdium on 12/30/2006 11:02:37 PM , Rating: 5
Brings a new meaning to the term "blue screen of death".

(Of course, the drive system will probably be running on a separate real-time OS as usual. But where's the fun in that?)




Why?
By Hare on 12/31/2006 4:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
Why do we need another propriety device just for our cars when we could buy any Palm or PocketPC that would do the same and would also fit in our pockets during the day? Higher end navigators also include MP3/video-players and calenders etc.

This device seems somewhat pointless unless it could actually control the car (turn on the heating at 7:30am etc).




RE: Why?
By dead1ne on 12/31/2006 7:30:21 AM , Rating: 2
That would actually be something worth having but the rest is pretty pointless and a safety risk.


Pointless...
By Merry on 12/31/2006 9:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
I can understand some things in cars, ABS and GPS for one but to me its all just going that bit too far. I own a '95 Fiat Punto (which i doubt you'll of heard of over the pond) it has neither ABS or any such things. It doesn't even have an airbag. This means I actually have to be careful driving the thing in wet conditions, mainly because the car wont rescue me and if I crash it will hurt. Makes you pay somewhat more attention to the road. Saying that though despite it being a 1.1 litre engine it can be a hell of a lot of fun, something i found out in a recent blast straight through the middle of Wales with nothing but a map and some fuel in the tank, it just shows you don't need all this as, in my opinion it just over complicates a car leaving you with increased service costs (if you bother) and more scope for technical maladies, no matter how good the tech is.

I understand safety developments are a good thing, however, I think motor companies should keep it simple, rather than engage in technological oneupmanship with each other so executives can show of the gadgets in their car, rather than the car itself.

And with that in mind I'm off bidding on a 1975 Triumph Spitfire on Ebay ;p




RE: Pointless...
By Sulphademus on 1/3/2007 11:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
A Ford PUNTO??

Uncomfortably close to the Spanish word for whore.


What the hell?
By Shark Tek on 12/30/06, Rating: 0
RE: What the hell?
By Nyceis on 1/1/2007 12:37:28 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree...


Oh no....
By jon1003 on 12/31/2006 12:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
Dudes, my car just crashed.




By putting Windows in cars,
By ahkey on 12/31/2006 2:52:14 AM , Rating: 2
This could bring real advances in automobile technology. The additional processing power and complexity needed to run car software would help along assisted/automated driving and provide video communications and productivity to consumer automobiles. Maybe.




I'm a Mac, I'm a PC
By snowham on 12/31/2006 6:31:29 AM , Rating: 2
Is that guy really doing a spreadsheet in the photo? Could the usefulness of this Microsoft "wonder" be a little less stereotypically boring?




I hope not...
By JeffDM on 12/31/2006 10:17:46 AM , Rating: 2
...at least not in THAT form.

Other than for niche needs where the driver already has a notebook computer, I don't think that monstrosity will do the job. Heck, there are car notebook mounts already, why that thing? Notebook computers can connect to the internet by the cellular network.

If it works, I think it will be because it won't look like Windows. Windows is decent as a desktop system, something for automobiles can't operate anything like that. At no time during driving should the user need to punch in characters or write anything to operate it. The controls need to be big too so it's easier to be sure to press the right button when the car is going over expansion joints, it's annoying to try to keep my finger pointed at the right place when there are variations and bumps in the road.




and I need this, why?
By Cogman on 12/31/2006 8:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
Why do I need to have a L33t computer siting in my car all day long. I already have a laptop that I can even take out of the car. Some technology is inovative, this is not an advancement in my eyes (unless they make the HDs more durible) its just something that most people can already do if they put enough time into it.

For example, anyone remember the XBox Car that had a build in Xbox that attached to the stearing wheal and allows you to play race games when parked? Yeah this is about the same thing




which brings up the inevitable question...
By retrospooty on 12/30/06, Rating: -1
RE: which brings up the inevitable question...
By Visk on 12/30/2006 10:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
Witty...Witty...


RE: which brings up the inevitable question...
By JeffDM on 12/31/2006 10:25:53 AM , Rating: 2
I think there's a bit of a valid point about that. What will replacement parts cost? If it broke ten years from now, would it be worth fixing if it's 10-15 year old computer technology? Right now, would you want to put a Pentium II computer into your car? That's what it would be like ten years from now. Even the aftermarket stuff would be pretty expensive.


By StevoLincolnite on 12/31/2006 12:22:15 PM , Rating: 3
Go down to the wreckers, Especially if it is 10-15 years old, it will cost bugger all.
And I have a Celeron 300A @ 450Mhz in my car, So that I can watch movies that I have downloaded on the DVD player's screen.
And it having it connected to an Inverter, it uses bugger all power, allot less than what the Alternator generates, to run, Start the car, recharge the battery, and power the sound system.
The most expensive part I have EVER bought for my car was the Alternator, I put it in myself, and only cost 60 bucks (Australian), And considering its 18 years old, done almost 400 thousand KM's (Ive done 220 thousand in it), I'm not doing bad, Mind you I am allot more mechanically minded than most, And GM's Holden Commodore is really an awesome car, You Americans don't know what your missing.


As if Ford doesn't already have enough problems...
By Beenthere on 12/30/06, Rating: -1
By ADDAvenger on 12/31/2006 12:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Why're you bashing MS? Everyone knows that MS is old news; we hate $ony now and spell all references to them as $ony.



(I know I copycatted someone, but I couldn't resist)


By oTAL on 12/31/2006 12:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
And I'll bet $10 that your posting that on windows.... grow up and get out more...


By StevoLincolnite on 12/31/2006 5:09:29 AM , Rating: 3
Did you know that Almost 80% of the world uses Windows? Yeah didn't think you knew... Goto the toilet and wipe your mouth.
Just because Microsoft basically adding windows to in-car computers, DOESN'T mean that stuff like, the Electronic Transmission, Fuel Injection etc is going to be handled by the Windows Operating system.
I do Agree, I like going for a drive, In any conditions that the weather may be out-putting at the time.
I personally will pass on the bells and whistles, And just have the Uber Thumpin' Stereo system.
And Microsoft isn't as bad as what it used to be, The Win9x/ME days are gone, Now we just have to nail into there heads about the DRM stuff, And we should be happy!

And do you have any proof of the Consumer Fraud? Didn't think so, What about all the stolen copy's of windows being handed around over the years? (I admit, I have done it a few times). And I doubt Ford would go under because a problem with a "Simple" computer used to display movies, Calendars, and maps etc. (Even though I'm not a Ford person, I like the Holden Commodore allot better).


RE: As if Ford doesn't already have enough problems...
By Merry on 12/31/2006 9:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
I thought Ford owns Mazda (thats owns and not pwns by the way)


By Locutus465 on 12/31/2006 11:28:58 AM , Rating: 2
That is correct, ford owns mazda.


By mjcutri on 1/2/2007 3:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, it is NOT correct.
Ford owns 49% of Mazda.


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