Report: Ford to Replace Microsoft with Blackberry’s QNX in Sync, MyFord Touch Interface
February 22, 2014 3:59 PM
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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
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:
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,
), 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
, 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 “
The Detroit News
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/22/2014 9:10:13 PM
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!!!.
2/24/2014 6:48:18 PM
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.
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