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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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and that's why I wouldn't buy a Ford...
By Saist on 5/28/2009 8:47:49 PM , Rating: -1
call me a troll. call me an idiot. call me something. call me whatever. But as long as I have a choice in the matter, I won't ever buy a car knowing it uses Microsoft Technology. The sadistic side of me wouldn't mind Ballmer's new car hitting an error in the middle of downtown traffic and shutting all of Redmond Washington down for the night.

The more calm side of me notes that crediting Ballmer for the work done on Ford's system, and giving him a car, seems to be a complete insult aimed at everybody who turned in hard hours to make the system work. Sure, I think the code is probably sloppier than an undercooked BBQ Sandwich, and more than likely it will have to be opened-up after somebody gets cute in court and contests a traffic violation by blaming SYNC... Although I bet that everybody who worked on SYNC probably has the option to buy a Ford at Ford Employee cost.

By rudolphna on 5/28/2009 9:21:34 PM , Rating: 3
Well, you must be an idiot, because sync has absolutely nothing to do with the car itself. It in no way controls the engine, transmission, or powertrain in any way. It is simply the radio, to simplify it.

By sbtech on 5/29/2009 8:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
They did not GIVE the car to him. He BOUGHT it.

By Manch on 5/31/2009 4:06:46 AM , Rating: 1
let me get this straight. You disparage Ford because you think they're insulting the workers by giving Ballmer a car(which we all know now he bought). Yet, in the very next sentence you're calling the coding sloppier than an undercooked BBQ sandwich. Who in the hell are you to be handing out insults?

*sigh* since you asked:

You're an idiot and the sadistic side of me says since your daddy didn't wear a rubber I wouldn't mind if Ballmer's new car ran over the result of that error. Troll.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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