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Microsoft and Ford Sync up

You may remember back in January when Microsoft announced a partnership with Ford to collaborate on a way to control your mobile devices while behind the wheel via voice. Sync works with most Bluetooth-enabled phones and popular media devices (full list here).

For $395 (the same price as racing stripes on the Mustang) Sync will allow you to place calls by name, read incoming text messages, call out playlist names to your media player, or even ask it what it's playing. Detroit Free Press reporter Sarah Webster took Sync for a 2-day spin and it's an interesting read. She came away calling Sync a first step in "something potentially life changing."

Sync is a respectable little device with a 400Mhz processor and is open to developers which I think is the best feature, because the future of Sync will driven by consumer demand and the imagination of developers. Sync is available in a number of 2008 Fords, Mercury, and Lincolns, which are hitting the showrooms now. You can find out more about Sync at Ford's site www.SyncMyRide.com.

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  • MOSGRANDMOSGRAND

    Microsoft's partnership with Ford is great start to help this American Motor company get its legs back. 

    It's surprising that this first release of SYNC is not more innovative or integrated with other driving experiences.  For example, I would expect that I could have the abilityt to reply to TXT messages more openly than just pre-canned responses that may not be appropriate for the conversation.  Also, with Apple's iPhone TXT conversation view, that would be an important capability since most people are receiving TXT from various people simultaneously.

    I don't see integration with car navigation systems and POI indices.   I would think with the arsenal of Microsoft's Live Earth assets that this could have been better merged.  More, I would like to see the wi-fi in the SYNC platform.  If my MKZ is parked in my garage, it has access to my wi-fi network.  Why can't I build my maps on Virtual Earth and send them to my car as destinations...or SYNC my IM Address Book with my car address book.

    Granted this is a v1 Release...I still would have expected to see far more no-brainer innovations and better integration with the capabilities of the car and phone.  The system currently doesn't support MMS or EMAIL...these two things are seriously overlooked features in my book.

    The only thing that would be a saving grace is the ability to install updates through the wi-fi network.  That way, FORD could create an additional revenue stream that SYNCS with the car's warranty...and can be extended afterwards.  I shouldn't have to go back to the dealership to keep my SYNC current as you do with so many other Nav systems today.

    Where's my XM/SIRIUS/ZUNE Marketplace integration with SYNC.  If I hear a new song on SAT Radio, can I send it to my ZUNE or iPOD?  Can make a transaction on the spot...  From a business model standpoint, if you can get money out of my pocket while I'm driving...you're doing a great business.  

    In future versions, I hope SYNC 2.0 is integrated with HD Terrestrial Radio.  I would mind seeing visual advertising in SYNC with the AUDIO ads from my favorite local radio stations.   Especially, if the ads could be targeted based on my listening preferences (demographic analysis), GPS (give me ads based on where I am and get easily get to), and car make/model (clues to disposable income).

    Good first effort.  Not great.  Try again soon...before Toyota/Honda/Nissan spank FORD out of existence.

  • MOSGRANDMOSGRAND

    Microsoft's partnership with Ford is great start to help this American Motor company get its legs back. 

    It's surprising that this first release of SYNC is not more innovative or integrated with other driving experiences.  For example, I would expect that I could have the abilityt to reply to TXT messages more openly than just pre-canned responses that may not be appropriate for the conversation.  Also, with Apple's iPhone TXT conversation view, that would be an important capability since most people are receiving TXT from various people simultaneously.

    I don't see integration with car navigation systems and POI indices.   I would think with the arsenal of Microsoft's Live Earth assets that this could have been better merged.  More, I would like to see the wi-fi in the SYNC platform.  If my MKZ is parked in my garage, it has access to my wi-fi network.  Why can't I build my maps on Virtual Earth and send them to my car as destinations...or SYNC my IM Address Book with my car address book.

    Granted this is a v1 Release...I still would have expected to see far more no-brainer innovations and better integration with the capabilities of the car and phone.  The system currently doesn't support MMS or EMAIL...these two things are seriously overlooked features in my book.

    The only thing that would be a saving grace is the ability to install updates through the wi-fi network.  That way, FORD could create an additional revenue stream that SYNCS with the car's warranty...and can be extended afterwards.  I shouldn't have to go back to the dealership to keep my SYNC current as you do with so many other Nav systems today.

    Where's my XM/SIRIUS/ZUNE Marketplace integration with SYNC.  If I hear a new song on SAT Radio, can I send it to my ZUNE or iPOD?  Can make a transaction on the spot...  From a business model standpoint, if you can get money out of my pocket while I'm driving...you're doing a great business.  

    In future versions, I hope SYNC 2.0 is integrated with HD Terrestrial Radio.  I would mind seeing visual advertising in SYNC with the AUDIO ads from my favorite local radio stations.   Especially, if the ads could be targeted based on my listening preferences (demographic analysis), GPS (give me ads based on where I am and get easily get to), and car make/model (clues to disposable income).

    Good first effort.  Not great.  Try again soon...before Toyota/Honda/Nissan spank FORD out of existence.

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