Ford Secures Microsoft for Software Updates
22 March 2015 - Autoblog
Ford is dropping Microsoft later this year as its infotainment partner when the Blue Oval switches to the BlackBerry QNX operating system for Sync 3 (pictured above). However, the two companies aren't severing ties completely, because the Redmond, WA, outfit is taking responsibility for Sync 3's wireless updates.
Don Butler, Ford Director of Connected Vehicles and Services, announced the deal during a speech, according to Automotive News. "We've obviously had a good, long relationship with Microsoft," he said. "Microsoft understands the automotive environment and the kinds of experiences that we'd like to enable."
The ability for Sync 3 to accept Wifi updates was announced as a major feature the new infotainment system, but this was the first mention of how that has been handled. Ford will host the files on Microsoft's Azure Cloud servers, according to Automotive News. Owners will need to give permission to check for new software, and they'll be notified after an improvement's installation. Dealers will install Wifi transmitters to keep vehicles on the lot up to date, as well.
Sync 3 is set to replace the much-maligned MyFord Touch later in 2015 on some 2016 model year vehicles, and by next year it should be available throughout the Ford and Lincoln lineups. In addition to the wireless updates, the new system also promises a simplified interface, better voice recognition and faster response times.