Ford Dropping Microsoft-Based Infotainment, Will Adopt BlackBerry Unit for Next-Gen Sync System

MyFord Touch

If you’ve ever driven a new Ford and found the touch-screen display a bit buggy—or watched it black out all of your major controls—you’ll understand Ford’s decision to scrap Microsoft from future models. According to Bloomberg, Ford will instead partner with Blackberry subsidiary QNX for its next-gen Sync system.

QNX powers various infotainment and instrument cluster software for Volkswagen, BMW, General Motors, Chrysler, and Jaguar Land Rover, among many others. Bloomberg said QNX would prove less expensive than Microsoft, and while it didn’t specify if Blackberry would replace the guts of MyFord and MyLincoln Touch—the optional systems responsible for Ford’s dramatic quality slides in J.D. Power surveys over the past two years—we’re certain Microsoft will get a full escort from Dearborn.

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Ford’s Sync, a standalone voice-activated system launched earlier by Microsoft in 2007, proved to be reliable, accurate and easy to use. Since MyFord Touch launched in late 2010, Ford released several software upgrades to clean up the interface and improve speed, but it’s been a consistent thorn among new-car drivers, so much so that Ford has reverted to physical knobs and switches on several of its new models. Microsoft has found better success with Kia’s UVO system and soon will debut infotainment systems for entry-level Chrysler and Fiat vehicles.

Ford hasn’t officially announced the change nor did the report state when QNX would start appearing in new models.

About Clifford Atiyeh