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QNX to replace Microsoft's problematic software, and it will also be cheaper

It appears that Ford is finally wising up and is looking to replace the Microsoft technology that currently powers MyFord Touch with Blackberry’s QNX operating system, according to The Detroit News. While Blackberry OS 10 is pretty much dead in the water on the smartphone front, Blackberry’s QNX subsidiary is doing quite well. QNX has over 50 percent market share in the automotive world when it comes to proprietary operating systems and its automotive customers include:
  • Acura
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • General Motors
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Land Rover
  • Porsche
  • Saab
According to a person familiar with Ford’s plans, its MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles (including existing models) could “easily” be upgraded to use QNX instead of the current, underlying Microsoft technology. As an added bonus, QNX is cheaper to license than Microsoft's software.


MyFord Touch on the Ford Explorer
 
To say that MyFord Touch — an infotainment system available on many of Ford and Lincoln’s recently redesigned automobiles — is problematic would be putting it mildly. The voice- and touch screen-based system allows users to access many vehicle functions including entertainment, navigation, and climate control.
 
MyFord Touch (and by association, MyLincoln Touch), which uses Windows Embedded Automotive 7 at its core, has been plagued with problems since its introduction. Drivers have experienced frozen screens, system reboots while the vehicle is in motion, and poorly responsive haptic controls. Ford has rolled out numerous updates to address these issues, and has even taken steps to bring back physical buttons and knobs on some models to appease customers.


Knobs are making a comeback in MyFord Touch vehicles as seen in this 2015 Mustang with MyFord Touch.
 
The problems have gotten so bad that Ford has been blasted not only by publications like Consumer Reports, but it has also taken a dive in J.D. Power reliability rankings due to MyFord Touch.
 
A Ford spokesman did not deny the reports to The Detroit News, and was diplomatic by stating, “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 for competitive reasons. We are absolutely committed to leading and innovating the smart technologies and in-vehicle connectivity that our customers want and value.”


Ford CEO Alan Mulally delivered the one millionth vehicle equipped with Ford Sync to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2009. There have now been over 10 million vehicles with Sync/MyFord Touch sold worldwide.
 
Ford and Microsoft made a big deal about their partnership with Sync and MyFord Touch. Over the course of the relationship, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and current Ford CEO Alan Mulally became close friends. In fact, the closeness of the two companies and the two CEOs shot Mulally to the top of the list for Microsoft’s CEO position when it was announced that Ballmer would enter into “early retirement”.

Sources: The Detroit News, Bloomberg



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Fan?
By p05esto on 2/22/2014 5:03:40 PM , Rating: 1
I try to love Microsoft because I hate Apple and Google so very much.... but in the last 4 years Microsoft is no better and keeps letting me down. Windows 8, Xbox One is woefully underwhelming. Just so many little things that are not as good as they should be and it doesn't make sense how all of these companies just don't get it. How can MS not be able to make a solid and simple automotive system? It's running the car, it's just running the user nav and entertainment stuff. Unbelievable.




RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By Chaser on 2/22/2014 6:19:37 PM , Rating: 5
You really don't know what you are talking about. Read the article again. QNX is a very successful subsidiary of Blackberry that has been profitable for a very long time. As the article states, QNX is a very efficient appliance designed OS that already has 50% market share in automobiles. Its rock solid stable, fast, and proven. Android has NOTHING like that on the market today.

This isn't Android vs Blackberry phones.


RE: Fan?
By Flunk on 2/22/2014 7:29:25 PM , Rating: 3
QNX was actually developed by a company called "QNX Software Systems" that eventually sold out and was later acquired Research in Motion (now Blackberry).

It was designed as a lightweight real-time OS for embedded applications. At one point it's claim to fame was that it could launch a graphical X-Windows shell with basic apps and fit on a 1.44MB floppy. Things like automation control systems, medical systems and vehicle systems. Using it in cars isn't unusual, this is what it was designed for.


RE: Fan?
By name99 on 2/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By hpglow on 2/23/2014 5:03:46 AM , Rating: 4
Bloated slow unresponsive Android? There is a reason why quad core SOCs and massive amounts of ram are popular in Android devices... because it is a dog. I own several tablets, and phones and the best two of the three OSes are Windows and iOS. I have had nothing but problems with Android. The Surface Pro 2 blows them all out of the water, given the cost it should, but I would rather pay more money for something responsive and useable than save a dime and get another stinker with android on it. That goes for any form factor.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 5:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
Android being slow has been all over tech news since it launched, but blind fans ignore that. Android was slow because nothing ran native. It was all running in Dalvik, a crappy JIT Java run-time. It didn't matter what carrier it was running, it was slow. That is why iOS and Windows Phone were able to feel faster even on slower hardware than Android. For someone who lives and beathes Google, you don't seem to know shit about their products.

Now, since Android 4.0 and up, more stuff has been compiled and running natively rather than through the Dalvik interpreter, and it has made a huge difference.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 5:33:51 AM , Rating: 3
So, defending the use of QNX makes me a Microsoft nut hugger? I didn't even mention MS. If I am the nut hugger you think I am, why am I not upset over MS being dropped by Ford, as mentioned in this article?

You are the one who brought Google into the discussion. So who's the nut hugger? If Android was the solution, why are so few using it? QNX dominates this arena. Ford is just catching up now.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 6:55:33 AM , Rating: 3
I went back through the thread. The dick attitude started with you. Chaser pointed out how QNX was the dominant platform in this market already, and you called him an idiot. Any time someone thinks a non-Google solution is better, you start insulting them. You clearly have no capacity for level-headedness when Google is mentioned.

It is possible for someone to think Google's product is not the best for the task at hand without being a Google hater. The fact you start hurling about terms like nut hugger and hater every time someone likes what you don't like or doesn't like what you like makes you look insecure.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 7:23:25 AM , Rating: 3
So rudeness and hostility are fine when you are doing it, but wrong when directed at you? Good to know.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fan?
By retrospooty on 2/23/2014 10:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
"Plus everyone has a little hypocrite in them "

I keep mine in my pants and try to contain his erratic behavior in public settings.


RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 1:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
I hope we're still cool. I need at least one anti-Musk ally here.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 6:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
Lol I can get behind that.


RE: Fan?
By kamiller422 on 2/23/2014 5:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
"Now, since Android 4.0 and up, more stuff has been compiled and running natively rather than through the Dalvik interpreter, and it has made a huge difference."

What parts were Dalvik and now native? ART has not officially rolled out yet. It just made an appearance in KitKat.

Android has been a very good performer for a while. Project Butter added a silkiness feel to the user interface, but that's doesn't mean Android was a poor performer before.

Does the recent release of the Nokia Lumia 1520 quad core mean Windows Phone is a poor performer? Did the desire to release a 64-bit iOS mean it was a poor performer when it was 32-bit? (I don't buy the 64-bit equals significant performance upgrade, but Apple marketing does.)


RE: Fan?
By Wizec on 3/4/2014 5:06:43 PM , Rating: 1
"Android is open source, and can be made as paired down and minimalist as you want."

No, actually it cannot, because it has a monolithic kernel, whereas QNX has a micro kernel. I'm already to deep for you aren't I?

Now try this on for size:

"Now Intel has revealed in their testing that even in the latest version of the Android operating system, Android 4 ICS , having multiple cores remains of little benefit most of the time and can even be detrimental to performance.

According to Mike Bell, GM of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group, Android’s thread scheduler simply isn’t ready for multi-core processors.

Bell said, “If you are in a non-power constrained case, I think multiple cores make a lot of sense because you can run the cores full out, you can actually heavily load them and/or if the operating system has a good thread scheduler. A lot of stuff we are dealing with, thread scheduling and thread affinity, isn’t there yet and on top of that, largely when the operating system goes to do a single task, a lot of other stuff stops. So as we move to multiple cores, we’re actually putting a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it.”

Intel: Android dual core support so poor “having a second core is actually a detriment”
http://wmpoweruser.com/intel-android-dual-core-so-...


RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fan?
By ritualm on 2/24/2014 3:03:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you serious now? You showed me ZERO respect and insulted me several times.

Pot calling the kettle black. This is what you wrote against Chaser.
quote:
Exactly, that idiot Chaser clearly doesn't get it.

Apparently your insulting people is perfectly justified when they do not support your position that Google/Android is better than (insert mobile OS here). Others do the same to you and you get easily offended.

Grow a pair, kid.
quote:
Plus QNX frankly sucks as an infotainment solution. Embedded systems like assembly line automation, yeah it's great. Your car? Not so much.

You have ZERO idea of the proprietary nature of automobile OS systems. QNX has a successful, dominating presence because it works.

If the user-facing frontend is well-designed, who cares what it uses as its backend? For what it's worth, it could be running Perl and nobody gives a hoot.
quote:
Android is what you want your car to run. Even if you don't know it yet or want it. It's perfect!

My iPhone 4S could run full-size Blu-ray movies encoded in AVC High Profile, high bitrates at full speed. Meanwhile, a significantly better, more powerful, quad-core Cortex A9 tablet running Android Jelly Bean cannot even run the same movie downsized to 720p Main Profile without stuttering and skipping frames. That awful first-hand experience is part of the reasons why I ignored every Android tablet on the market and bought a Surface Pro 2 instead.

Android isn't the best for everything, and the mere fact that I need superpowered hardware specs just to have a barely okay usage experience stinks to high hell. Even KitKat today absolutely chokes on middling hardware that WP7.8 and iOS7 have no performance problems with. A car with its infotainment system running on Android is a car that I'll spend more time dealing with ForceClosed apps more than actually enjoying using it.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 6:06:16 AM , Rating: 1
Furthermore I'm literally shocked that you people don't believe Android is going to dominate this market.

What do you think powers Google's self driving car? Just..lmao! Wtf is wrong with you guys?

I think you guys have it all backwards. I'm not a Google fanboi. You just hate Google so much you can't even bring yourselves to honestly observe tech-trends. And anyone who DOES is just a Google 'fanboi', clearly.

http://www.openautoalliance.net/#about

Maybe this will help clear things up. But I doubt it...


RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 6:40:13 AM , Rating: 1
No, not a fanboi at all. You just appear in any Google article to defend them. In fact, you appear in many non-Google articles, like this one, and bring Google pinto the discussion.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 6:49:15 AM , Rating: 1
You know something? You sound exactly like someone that used to come here.

Matter of fact, your account was created right around the time he "left" Daily Tech.

Hmmmm.

quote:
You just appear in any Google article to defend them.


Look at my post count, I "appear" in pretty much EVERY article Sherlock.

Pretty sure most of your posts so far have been about "defending" Microsoft. So when you point fingers at someone else, yeah, you know the rest.

And I want to see Android offered in more vehicles, because the current offerings are pathetic. Let's at least be honest about that. Current infotainment solutions from other companies are HORRIBLE, overpriced, and offer poor value.

So yeah I brought it up here, because it's extremely relevant. Your god, Microsoft, utterly failed here. That doesn't mean you need to act all butthurt.

Just remember, we could have been friends. When I run you off here, like I have so many others, just remember this moment and the decision you made to make this personal.


RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 7:08:27 AM , Rating: 2
I know MyFord touch failed. It was awful. Not sure how much was MS's fault and how much was Ford's fault, but it failed miserably. Not sure why the touch was so bad when it works fine on Windows devices. Maybe it was based on WinCE and was poorly implemented. Maybe it was bad hardware. I don't know.

Taking out physical controls completely was idiotic though, regardless of the OS behind the system. Ford is now moving to an OS with a proven track record in automobile usage. And, more importantly, they are putting actual buttons and dials back, which are by far superior in an environment where you want to find them by touch rather than sight.

We can still be friends. I agree with you on almost everything we have discussed that was not related to Google. But remember this. I'm not the one butthurt. I'm not the one who said it is now personal. I'm not the one threatening to run someone with a different opinion away. I'm not even defending MS in this article, but you somehow can't see this. You have obvious anger issues, going all internet tough guy suddenly.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 7:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Ford rather rip people off by offering an extremely overpriced solution, than one that works well for the end user.

That's why it failed. And that's why this QNX solution will fail once Google gets their car agenda clicking.

That's why I support Google. They don't want to make a huge markup on the hardware. Hell they don't even want to make a dime off it. They WANT the experience to be as good as possible, so more people will use it. Because that's where their money is made.

quote:
Taking out physical controls completely was idiotic though, regardless of the OS behind the system. Ford is now moving to an OS with a proven track record in automobile usage. And, more importantly, they are putting actual buttons and dials back, which are by far superior in an environment where you want to find them by touch rather than sight.


Agree on principle, but the execution better be right. BMW uses buttons too, and....I don't know, reviews seem mixed.

quote:
We can still be friends.


Cool. Look at 6 in the morning after being up all night, I probably said some stuff I didn't mean.


RE: Fan?
By Source9 on 2/23/2014 9:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hahaha you support google cause they care about us end users experience. Give you head a shake. They will data mine everything they can out of an in-car system and also probably start forcing ads through the system once they control a big share of in-car systems.

Everything you just said makes no sense, we are all dumber just by having to of read that.


RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 6:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and your link shows 4 auto makers with plans for Android. Much smaller than the list that uses QNX currently. You have a different definition of "dominate" that the rest of us.

The other two companies on the list don't matter for the sake of the argument. Google will be there, of course. NVidia is desperately trying to find a market for their mobile chips after Samsung and Qualcomm so soundly trounced them in the phone market.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 6:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
The alliance just began in 2014. Google wants to dominate the automobile. So far I don't see any indication that they wont. I didn't say there were "dominating" right NOW, and you know that.

If you think I'm crazy just see what industry experts and analysts think, or tech writers, whoever. It's not like I'm the only one saying this stuff.

Just look at what the Open Handset Alliance did for Google on the smartphone. The same model is going to work for the car.

So far your best argument seems to be "UH NAH, because I said so." Not very compelling..


RE: Fan?
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 7:21:06 AM , Rating: 2
No, my argument is that QNX is well suited for the task, and is entrenched. Android may very well do well in automotive entertainment. The demo GM put on with Android was fairly impressive. That isn't part of the argument though. You are the one who came on saying Ford was stupid to go with QNX, and you are the one who started calling QNX defenders idiots.

I really don't care who makes the back end for a car infotainment system, as long as it stays out of the way. Ford made the mistake of making the whole system touch based. Touch screens are a terrible way to control your volume, heater, AC, etc when driving.

Why does a driver even need an "infotainment" system? GPS naviagation, fine. Hands-free dialing, fine. But beyond that, and we start getting into a "tech for the sake having tech".
How does replacing the control panel with a giant touch screen make things better? I'm all for tech that improves the experience. But putting a touchscreen in place of superior physical controls all because it looks for futuristic is stupid.


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 7:52:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I really don't care who makes the back end for a car infotainment system, as long as it stays out of the way. Ford made the mistake of making the whole system touch based. Touch screens are a terrible way to control your volume, heater, AC, etc when driving.


We have the technology right now, today, to make Star Trek: The Next Generation styled computer voice interaction a reality.

Why deal with touchscreens or buttons? I should be able to just say "Computer, heat, 50 percent." And have it happen!


RE: Fan?
By drlumen on 2/23/2014 1:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
Without taking a side here, you should remember that google is big on autonomous drive tech and testing many vehicles. If that trend continues and their autonomous drive system makes it into the wild, why would Android not be used for the infotainment system?

I'm just glad Ford is getting away from MS. I too would like to see them use android as there is a much greater developer environment and apps currently available. Perhaps that is a reason that the automakers haven't used android. Maybe they want to keep it a bit more proprietary.


RE: Fan?
By Griffinhart on 2/24/2014 10:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
I mostly agree with you but...
quote:
I really don't care who makes the back end for a car infotainment system, as long as it stays out of the way. Ford made the mistake of making the whole system touch based. Touch screens are a terrible way to control your volume, heater, AC, etc when driving.

Many of these controls aren't solely touch based. While some cars have some touch sensitive controls (off screen) many models have buttons and knobs as well. I have a 2012 Ford Focus with My Ford Touch. Volume Can be controlled by the touch screen, but it can also be controlled from the steering wheel and the Console via a big volume Knob. I can change channels, songs, etc all without touching the screen and even by voice.

My Climate control options can be done via Touch Screen, Voice commands or via Buttons and knobs on the console. They only part of the system that is completely touch screen only is the GPS system.

In my two year experience with My Ford Touch I find it to be pretty good overall, though there are some annoying quirks. It's definitely not perfect, but it's still pretty solid.

Fortunately, Ford seems to be hearing usability complaints on these touch sensitive controls. Newer models are favoring additional buttons. The 2015 Mustang's system looks to be pretty nice.

As far as infotainment system is cars go, I don't really care what's driving the back end. As long as it has:
-Reliable Blutooth connection.
-Address Book Syncing
-A Good GPS system with Traffic.
-Good input sources (a couple of USB, Aux, SD Card, etc)
-And above all, Be Platform agnostic when it comes to phones.

That last part is important to me. Auto Purchases tend to be long term. My last car I had for 11 years. Having any features that would lock me into any one phones ecosystem would be terrible.


RE: Fan?
By Wizec on 3/4/2014 4:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
Right now the best entertainment is you.

BlackBerry owns this market and will for the foreseeable future:

The secret to Apple's new CarPlay? BlackBerry
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/03/04/appl...


RE: Fan?
By BifurcatedBoat on 2/27/2014 7:56:03 PM , Rating: 2
If you were to keep all of the essential functions of the vehicle separated from the infotainment part of it, then I think that line of thinking would have some merit.

Sitting in front of a desktop computer is not directly comparable, because for the most part, if something goes wrong, you can just wait it out.

If you're supposed to be paying attention to the road, and it's the middle of winter, and the app responsible for the temperature controls has hung and become unresponsive, and you are now not looking at the road because you are trying to figure out why the car computer isn't responding to your repeated taps on the screen, that's a problem.


RE: Fan?
By I7up2001 on 2/23/2014 9:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
Here is what QNX system will look like in the next Audi TT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wlm6lD23d0g


RE: Fan?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 9:58:16 AM , Rating: 1
Thank you paid shill!


RE: Fan?
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2014 7:41:23 AM , Rating: 1
While Microsoft was late to the game in mobile. Windows Phone 7 and 8 are extremely well done. I really wish they'd come out with it sooner so it'd have more market penetration and more apps. But I still keep considering switching to it.


RE: Fan?
By Wizec on 3/4/2014 4:54:54 PM , Rating: 1
You couldn't be more wrong.

BlackBerry is THE most successful company at car operating systems in the world, now and for the foreseeable future:

"The secret to Apple's new CarPlay? BlackBerry"
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/03/04/appl...


RE: Fan?
By fteoath64 on 2/22/2014 9:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Using the word "hate" maybe a bit too strong. I would suggest "dislike" and I feel the same. However, I feel sorry for them in not doing things right like this FordSync product. Windows embedded is slow and clunky for years and has never really been upgraded in a significant way. They deserved to be displaced by a better OS since MS "should" have done a specialized embedded OS that works better than most. Like many things in a big company, products become legacy and soon forgotten. Eventually displaced as in this case.
It is no excuse a company like MS cannot make the best Sync embedded product. QNX does well with its micro-kernel and realtime task switching. There a several RTos to be had out there and companies like MS could do a dozen nice RT OSes if they really wanted to. So where is the leadership ?!. Where is the focus ?.
One thing MS did right is XBOX!!!.


RE: Fan?
By GatoRat on 2/24/2014 6:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
Windows CE, upon with Windows Automotive is based, is an extremely good and very stable operating system. It's UI has left much to be desired, but Ford isn't using the clunky CE windows-like UI nor should they.

Microsoft didn't make SYNC, that was a Ford product using CE/Automotive as the operating system and kernel.


RE: Fan?
By Samus on 2/23/2014 1:05:24 AM , Rating: 1
Funny, I personally think Windows 8 is awesome. If you miss your start menu there are a dozen free apps that bring it back and boot to the desktop. Start Menu 8 being the most common free utility.

Windows 8 offers such huge improvements over Windows 7's kernel, driver model, security, and cloud-accessibility (like my Windows 8 laptop, Windows 8.1 desktop, and Windows RT tablet all sync their user profile (start screens, apps, settings) and Skydrive data.

The problem with Windows 8 is everyone completely lost it when the start menu went missing, when after customizing, it's no longer needed anyway. Microsoft eliminating the start menu forced users to become more efficient, because lets face it, the start menu is a very inefficient way of launching programs.

No other operating system has a "start menu" equal. They have apps screens, and that's it. And so does Windows 8 now.

-iOS/MacOSX have no "start menu" and all apps are launched from the dock.
-Linux has some of the most powerful desktop environments, and only one (KDE) copies the start menu and Windows UI. Most Linux GUI's have a launcher like XFCE or GNOME, similar to the start screen (without tiles) or the Apple dock.
-All mobile OS's depend on a dock and an apps screen. Android and Chrome OS use widgets, much like Windows 8 start screen, without being nearly as interactive.

Now onto the obvious. Windows has had a "dock" since Vista. The problem is most XP migrants don't take advantage of it. Eliminating the Start Menu was one way to force them to use the superior dock so they stop going into the start menu and click away to run a problem. Launching programs went from the seconds to milliseconds. The Start Screen was a necessary evil to replace the start menu and push people onto the dock, while also adding mobile touch support, which everyone will agree is amazing on supported mobile devices.

Much like the Cruze was the delivery platform for the Volt, the Surface was the delivery platform for Windows 8. But that doesn't mean the products they spawned are bad, but for some reason people have a lot of trouble accepting them with no good reason. Windows 8 on the desktop, just like the Chevy Volt, are amazing products and most people who hate them have never given them a chance.


RE: Fan?
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2014 7:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
While many people crowd the dock in OSX with every little thing, some of us are minimalists who don't like to crowd it with every single program on our computer. There is a "Start Menu" of sorts even in OSX where you can bring up a window with all your programs in it (yes from the dock but that's the same as clicking on a start menu then) and launch what you want to.


Bye MS Sync :(. Bye Ford :(
By BillyBatson on 2/23/2014 3:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
I currently drive a 2013 Fusion and before that was a 2010 Edge. I love both vehicles (the Edge much more so than my Fusion) and I really love the Sync in both vehicles. I already hate the changes they made when they started calling the system MyFordTouch which is why I refused to get the touch screen in both cars. If Ford switches to BB I won't be getting another ford when my lease is up in a year.




RE: Bye MS Sync :(. Bye Ford :(
By Source9 on 2/23/2014 9:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
Don't stop buying a good car because of ignorance. BlackBerry and QNX are NOT the same. QNX was made before Blackberry acquired them and is a decent system. Hence why Blackberry bought them instead of trying to redesign their software from the ground up.

QNX might be a good successor to MS in MyFord Touch systems. I personally wish Ford would have considered iOS-in-car. Since iOS seems to be going to launch in a lot of vendors and be mainstream it is going to have a lot of support. Like the App Store.


RE: Bye MS Sync :(. Bye Ford :(
By BillyBatson on 2/24/2014 11:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not because of ignorance. I love my MS Sync and it has been a selling point for me two vehicles in a row now. Them switching to QNX is a bad move for me, if it takes any functionality away I won't be getting another Ford. Sync to me has set ford apart from the other infotainment systems but if they switch to the same system as others they will be losing a major selling point with me. Again I don't have the touch screen so all my sync functions are voice controlled and it works better than any competing voice control in the same price range.
If Ford switches infotainment brands, I switch my car brand. Simple as that.


RE: Bye MS Sync :(. Bye Ford :(
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/24/2014 11:30:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Ford switches infotainment brands, I switch my car brand. Simple as that.


Huh, what? I doubt functionality would regress; QNX is in wide use, in more advanced infotainment systems than even MyFord Touch (see the upcoming Audi TT).

But dropping a car company because they change the underlying technology of MyFord Touch just seems... odd.


RE: Bye MS Sync :(. Bye Ford :(
By BillyBatson on 2/28/2014 6:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have MyFord Touch I have MS Sync without the touch screen. I use voice commands which in my experience works better than Honda's, BMW, or Mercedes. Considering two of those brands run QNX it doesn't exactly fill me with confidence that Ford's QNX implementation will be any better or close to the voice command ease of use with Sync. Sync has been a big selling point for me for my last two vehicles and a "killer" feature but if Sync goes away Ford goes back to not standing out and I wouldn't consider them as my next option. The two cars I chose between last March was the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima but the Optima ended up being more expensive. When my lease is up though the Optima is going to pobably become my number one choice as it runs MS Sync. Don't think that's odd at all.


entirely WRONG approach
By DocScience on 2/22/2014 6:01:45 PM , Rating: 5
Graphic interfaces, by DEFINITION, require the eyes for eye-hand interaction.

In an automobile, eyes should be on the road, not a screen.

The automobile, at least until the driving task is roboticized, demands a haptic kinesthetic interface, learned spatially through muscle memory. Fixed function controls, no modality. The temperature knob is the temperature knob, not sometimes the volume and sometimes the menu selector.

Knobs and buttons that show their state by touch via their positions.




RE: entirely WRONG approach
By Monkey's Uncle on 2/22/2014 9:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why systems such as Ford Sync provide voice-operation and audible feedback control of bluetooth, HVAC, Nav and audio. Ford also urges folks to use voice controls rather than looking at an poking at the 8" LCD screen. As well they lock out many LCD functions while the car is not in 'park'.

The only real problem here is that the voice interface used by Ford sucks monkey turds. If you do not know the exact command structure to use with this car, it will bing and bong at you rather than do what it wants. THIS I lay at the feet of Microsoft who designed this voice system.

I am sure QNX can come up with something a LOT better because in this Microsoft has failed miserably.

(Oh, I am a 2013 Ford Focus owner that has the top version of Sync + MyFord Touch installed).


RE: entirely WRONG approach
By chizow on 2/22/2014 10:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't mind the voice interface, once you learn the cadence you can do pretty much anything in 3-4 words like: Phone > Call > Person.

I do hate the GPS/NAVI however, totally freaking useless because it just can't process the names of locations/POIs without completely butchering them. I told my wife it was a total waste of $800, especially since I have Waze and Google Maps on my S4, but she insisted on it.

I also can't stand the touchscreen. Incredibly slow, it is just subpar given the responsiveness we have come to expect from smartphones and tablets, or even the standalone GPS devices these in-dash units replaced. For those unfamiliar with Ford MyTouch, think Bank ATM touch screen, but slower.

Last gripe is how many touches it takes to switch the connected Bluetooth phone. Should really be 1 touch, 2 max, but instead it is at least 3-4 with a hidden confirm button AFTER you select the new phone. Really annoying.

Anyways, love my 2014 Fusion Hybrid otherwise, but I really wish they upgraded the in-dash infotainment system to something like what Nvidia is promoting with Tegra.


par
By Argon18 on 2/22/2014 11:09:52 PM , Rating: 1
"to replace Microsoft's problematic software, and it will also be cheaper..."
Typical of the whole industry really. Microsoft is losing out to Red Hat and others in every possible area. The only exceptions are installations where MS Office is required, or 3rd party video games are needed. Everywhere else, Microsoft is losing ground quickly. It's hard not to find a compelling alternative in Linux, or any of the other Unix-like operating systems like QNX. Heck, the new PS4 is running FreeBSD as it's back-end OS, no need for proprietary OS's any more, and that includes Microsoft. Adios Redmond!




RE: par
By KurgSmash on 2/24/2014 3:07:34 AM , Rating: 3
Odd, you wrote "Adios Redmond!" in your closing sentence, but why is it that what I read was "Hola, Neckbeard!"?

You linux guys crack me up. Finally the year of Linux on the Desktop, is it? Lolzers.


By I7up2001 on 2/23/2014 9:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
Have a look at what QNX did for the next Audi TT dashboard, much more advance than Sync, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wlm6lD23d0g




By chizow on 2/23/2014 5:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's the new Tegra K1 based infotainment system, can't wait til those go mainstream.


By Zak on 2/24/2014 10:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
When I bought my Ford Explorer in May 2013 SYNC was unusable. The car was in the shop twice in the first month. I started considering getting a lawyer and trying to return the car, which I otherwise liked, but SYNC was crashing several times a day and many functions just weren't working, I had to pull over and restart the car several times during trips, it was behind annoying. They replaced the entire computer twice. But then MS released an update that fixed most of my issues. SYNC hasn't crashed even once since last Summer but it still feels awful to use. I would gladly try anything in its place.




By GatoRat on 2/24/2014 6:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
This tells me that Ford has a serious management problem with the SYNC software project. Rather than address that problem, the managers have likely blamed Microsoft and even more likely told upper management that switching to QNX will "fix" everything.

With such poor testing, quality control and project management, the QNX based solution will likely be worse, not because QNX is better or worse, but because Ford doesn't know how to manage software projects and going to a new OS means a whole new learning curve. (Among other things, the code will not port as cleanly as I'm sure many in management, and some senior engineers, have claimed.) Moreover, if their software architecture is flawed--which I suspect it is--changing out the OS doesn't fix that.


Why QNX?
By GatoRat on 2/24/2014 3:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
If they want cheap, go eCOS. If they want kick-ass stability and tools, use Integrity-178B.




RE: Why QNX?
By GatoRat on 2/24/2014 3:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
BTW, I believe Ford already uses Integrity for their ECU. I'm curious whether they've had issues with it, this is a case of the right and left hands no knowing what's going on or that the SYNC group thinks they know better.


Dead
By GTVic on 2/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: Dead
By iamkyle on 2/22/2014 11:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're trying to defend BlackBerry to a largely iOS userbase.

Oh and BB is not 'Murican therefore it must suck.


But
By villageidiotintern on 2/22/2014 8:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
"...QNX is cheaper to license than Microsoft's software."

But does it have tiles?




omg
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/24/2014 9:26:07 AM , Rating: 2
Who would let microsoft into their vehicle? Remember the old joke from 15-20 years ago? "This vehicle has performed an illegal operation..." Hell no... QNX is rock steady compared to windows.




By GatoRat on 2/24/2014 3:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
I've worked with Windows CE (which Windows Automotive is based on) for years. It is extremely stable. But, not matter how stable your OS is, if your app is written poorly, you will have problems.

This is yet another case of "blame the vendor."

(In related news, two years ago I worked on an application which would bring a fully loaded Windows Server 2008 R2 box to it's knees. Yet, no matter what we did, we never crashed Windows itself. High level UI apps would be timing out like crazy, but the kernel never missed a beat.)




I approve
By Cluebat on 2/25/2014 10:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
The company that I worked with at the time used version 4 with Photon GUI as the front end.

It was the cat's meow. It was robust to the point of being bulletproof and top dog to any serious realtime programmer.

I hope that this works out well for them.




At Last!
By mosu on 2/26/2014 5:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
I hope Ford will invest in this great idea , parting from MSFT. "Do you want to hit breaks? -Yes-....Are you sure you want to hit breaks? and so on..




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