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Microsoft Steve Balmer gets pumped up about SYNC and his new Ford Fusion Hybrid, courtesy of Ford CEO Alan Mullaly, and in celebration of one million SYNC vehicles produced.  (Source: Autoblog)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is thrilled to be getting his new Ford Fusion

In the realm of automotive sales, exclusive features often provide an important means of differentiating oneself from the competition.  GM has OnStar and Ford has its SYNC functionality, a hot feature which allows for the integration of mobile phones and portable media players with Ford vehicles among other things.  The feature was developed by software giant Microsoft in close collaboration with Ford, and is featured in many new Ford models, including the sleek and fuel efficient Ford Fusion hybrid.

The Ford and Microsoft partnership proved a match made in heaven and 80 percent of Ford's vehicles now feature the system.  An update is on the way as well which is set to add turn-by-turn uploadable directions and more to the SYNC interface. 

The system has been driving sales and has helped Ford likely be the only domestic automaker to avoid bankruptcy and government regulation.  As a special thank you to Microsoft, Ford delivered Microsoft CEO and Detroit native Steve Ballmer a pale blue 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid, the millionth vehicle produce with Sync onboard according to Autoblog.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally personally delivered the new car to Mr. Ballmer.  His purchase may have been largely a symbolic gesture, but the fun thing is Mr. Ballmer seemed genuinely excited.  Of course, this isn't entirely surprising -- the Fusion is a very well-designed vehicle, rated an impressive 41 mpg, with many users report much higher mileages thanks to the car's aggressive fuel-saving strategies.  Mr. Mulally pledged to "continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers' lifestyles."

Currently SYNC offers navigation and entertainment systems, and a feature called 911 Assist, which calls emergency services in the event of an accident (similar to GM's OnStar).

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RE: so excited
By fishbits on 5/28/2009 3:51:47 PM , Rating: 5
Well, Jason does make it sound like Ballmer's had trouble being able to afford filling up his gas tank -- until now!

"Mr. Ballmer was pretty excited, and it's no wonder -- the Fusion is rated an impressive 41 mpg and many users report much higher mileages, thanks to the car's aggressive fuel-saving strategies."

No, that's not an inserted advertisment, that's what Ballmer was thinking that had him so excited.

RE: so excited
By deltadeltadelta on 5/28/2009 4:47:38 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, what the heck. I can't imagine he cares. You and I might like a car with 41 mpg, but I don't think Ballmer is "excited" about that. It was a painful line to read.

RE: so excited
By DigitalFreak on 5/28/2009 4:52:41 PM , Rating: 5
It was Mick's usual "enviro-plug"

RE: so excited
By PrezWeezy on 5/28/2009 5:04:13 PM , Rating: 5
From the YouTube video it seems like his wife might be a little on the evironmentalist side.
"Hybrid! Important to throw the Hybrid in there which is very important to my wife."

RE: so excited
By omnicronx on 5/28/2009 5:05:45 PM , Rating: 5
From the pictures he looks pretty excited to me. Only world domination would bring a smile like that to my face. It looks like he was actually skipping to go shake the Ford execs hand.

RE: so excited
By Spuke on 5/28/2009 6:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
He got a free car. I would be excited too.

RE: so excited
By mindless1 on 5/28/2009 7:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
From the pictures it looks like he's thinking PR pics. When Steve gets excited he sweats a heck of a lot and waves his arms around like a monkey.

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