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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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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.


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