Ford Said to Dump Windows for Car Sync and Move to…Blackberry?

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I thought about writing a full article on this, but really, all I can come up with is #lolthefuturelooksbright. The short version is that Bloomberg reported that Ford is planning to dump Microsoft's Windows for its in-car "Sync" platform, and instead embrace the future with Blackberry's QNX platform. The reasons apparently boil down to the fact that it's cheaper and better than Windows, but in either case it's not saying all that much. Perhaps it will be the shot in the arm that Blackberry needs to survive. Then again, maybe Ford will be find itself needing to shop around again in a few years. Either way, it's further anti-validation for Microsoft. Speaking of which, this could shed some light on why Ford CEO Alan Mulally wasn't interested in the Microsoft gig eventually given to new CEO Satya Nadella. [Image courtesy of Shutterstock]


Check It Out: Ford Said to Dump Windows for Car Sync and Move to…Blackberry?

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Lee Dronick

If they can do it better than MicroSoft, a medium height bar, then yes it could save Blackberry. I have Ford Synch and it is okay, but can certainly be better.


From other articles, it seems like they are bailing on Microsoft because Microsoft won’t let them customize the UI the way they want to, so they are switching to QNX for the low-level stuff, and creating their own UI [thankfully, because BB can’t do UI].

I’m not saying Ford can do UI’s, but they at least won’t start with trying to shoehorn a phone ui into the thing because “it’s what we’ve already got”.


Would be nice for auto companies to give buyers options for syncing. A friend has a new Focus and he has given up trying to keep his iOS devices synced. I would like to buy a Fusion the next time we need to get a new car. Hopefully they will get this right.


Lee, is it really called “Ford Synch”?

Anyway, as the little bird said when the Ford drove over it, “Cheep, cheep.”


I have a Fusion about 4 years old and I hate the Sync system to the point of not using it anymore.  The voice recognition software is good but that is about it. When I tried to use Sync, I had to have someone else in the car to look up how to do things. I had heard there was an upgrade 1 year after I got the car so went to the dealer to see how to do it. They didn’t know. They had someone come in 2 hours a month to try to solve problems. Sync is one of the reasons I probably won’t buy another Ford so I am glad for Ford they are changing it but don’t know I would trust them to change it to something better.

Lee Dronick

  Lee, is it really called “Ford Synch”?

Yeah,  just SYNC and SYNCH with MyFord Touch

We have the SYNCH with MyFord Touch and there is a lot about that it is fine and some that is not.

The Focus is my wife’s car and the SYNC is set up to connect her iPhone as the primary cell phone. If I am driving the car it connects automatically to my iPhone. However, if we both get in and I want to connect my iPhone, then there are a number of hoops and screens to go through. I should be able to touch the Touch button on the steering wheel and say “Connect Lee’s iPhone.” Now there may be way to do that, but I have not yet found it.

The voice recognition thus far has been excellent and Siri has had more problems with my speech. Say “Climate 70 degrees” and the climate system changes to that. Now “speaking” of Siri, I need to physically touch the iPhone’s home button to invoke it, I can’t do it through SYNC.

Would I buy another Ford? Yes I would. We shopped for about three months before deciding on the Focus Titanium.

I downloaded the vehicle manuals and have them in iBooks.


A couple or three years ago I was looking for a new car and was very interested in the Focus, that is until I heard the UI was by Microsoft. I just couldn’t get past the image of being stranded somewhere because my car had a BSOD. I posted my concerns about it on a couple of sites and was excoriated for it. The consensus seemed to be that it was brilliant, the best automotive advance since the wheel replaced tillers for steering. Still I just could not bring myself to do it and went with a Honda.

Though I’m sorry it’s not working for you, I do find a certain satisfaction in hearing that my instincts were correct.


I’ve owned a Ford Escape with SYNC for 14 months and 17k miles. I use SYNC every day. It works very well Unfortunately, it takes time to learn. It is not intuitive. You can’t say ‘connect to mark’s iPhone’. You can’t say ‘browse iPhone’, etc. And the sat nav is even less intutive! But when you know the secret words, it works quite well and I am happy with it. I too considered the Honda and the Mazda as there was no microsoft badge peering iminously from the dash. But those japanese offerings seemed to come from another age in the past by comparison so far behind the Ford are they. Fine cars to be sure, but low tech by comparison. I can’t imagine renting a car with SYNC for people who have never used it! But in all, I would not hesitate to get another and if the UI improves which only time will tee, it can be really great!

Lee Dronick

Yet I am having a moslty good experience with MicroSoft on the Ford.


Maybe the SYNC system works better now than it did before but I have similar stories to mine from people who bought Fords at about the same time as I did. I would learn how to do something, then not use it for a while and then try to remember how to do it again and almost always had to have someone pull out the manual or pull over to look myself. I gave up on it when I went to the dealer for some service and tried to see what could be done about it and the service person said that none of the regulars at the dealership knew anything substantial and I would have to come during the 1-2 hours a month that the “expert” came in.

One of the reasons that I heard that Ford is looking at something else is that since they went to their SYNC system, their satisfaction scores with Price-Waterhouse have been worse than expected.

I am glad that it is working for some of those that have Fords.

Bart B

People seem to be mocking this, but actually, it’s a really smart move.

QNX is a solid core to build on, leaving Ford free to work on the UI. This strikes me as exacrtly the strategy Apple took with OS X - aquire a good solid Unix core, then spend their time and effort on the user interface.

By all accounts QNX is a very good mobile operating system, while Windows is know for being bloated. The risk I see is BlackBerry going bust, but if that’s on the cards Ford could simply buy BlackBerry - it’s not like they’d be an expensive aquisition smile

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