Microsoft In-Car SYNC System Hits Hyundai Next
Credit where credit's due: Ford was the first automaker to risk afflicting their customers with the blue screen of death and install the Microsoft SYNC system in their products. Not only did Microsoft's in-car multiple device Bluetooth-enabled voice-activation thingie not serve-up a code 10, but Ford put it in their entry-level models AND milked it with plenty o' marketing. But Bill Gate's mob let it be known from the start– as did responsible members of the media– that SYNC was heading into rival products after an 18-month "window of exclusivity." And so, at the end of the year, Ford's bragging right will be defenestrated by none other than Korean budget car maker Hyundai– a Ford wannabe if there ever was one. Yup, Hyundai is next to SYNC up. The New York Times reports "Windows Automotive will first appear in Hyundai vehicles in North America in 2010, said Martin Thall, general manager of Microsoft’s automotive business unit. Subsequent versions will give drivers voice control over navigation systems and video entertainment, in addition to cellphones and digital music players." There was a brouhaha recently when rumors circulated that Ford would allow Microsoft to use SYNC for advertising, which they vigorously denied. Or at least didn't confirm. Yet. What's the bet Kia/Hyundai show similar restraint?
More by Robert Farago