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Ford is ditching Microsoft for Blackberry's QNX in future Sync in-vehicle systems

QNX

Ford is reportedly ditching Microsoft for Blackberry’s QNX platform in their integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system. According to Bloomberg, using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system.

The decision hasn’t been made public yet, but sources close to the situation have told us the report is accurate.

Ford has more than 7 million vehicles on the road with Sync using Microsoft voice-activated software. According to Crackberry, Ford has had various issues with their MyFord and Sync systems over the last few years, bringing down their quality ratings and causing them to seek other options for their vehicle infotainment systems.

The QNX platform is already available in a wide variety of vehicles including Acura, Audi, BMW and Land Rover. They were at CES 2014 showing off their latest technology. You can watch it over here.

What are your thoughts on Ford switching to QNX? Let us know in the comments!

Via Bloomberg

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Reader comments

Ford is ditching Microsoft for Blackberry's QNX in future Sync in-vehicle systems

369 Comments

So Apple, Nokia, Google, And BB are going to have their technology in future vehicles.... What is MS doing❔❔... The future is in Mobile, and the auto industry is MOBILE❕❕.... So yes, they definitely blew it,,,, again.....
.........................
I'm beginning to not miss Balmer more, and more, everyday....

Microsoft still has other partners and the auto division doesn't just make dashboard software. They'll be fine.

No... They didn't blow it.  This article leaves out quite a lot.  Apparently there are more than a few car companies using systems created by MS.  Kia/Hyundai are among them from what I can remember.  Fact of the matter is the system was slow, buggy, and had a steep learning curve.  Ford did the ill recommended by removing all buttons and knobs from a center console.  In hindsight... very bad idea. 

Because Ford totally had no input.  /sarcasm

 

Not even sure how they "blew it again" considering this was their first go at infotainment in a car.  

I think MS missed their opportunity to buy BB back when BB was looking to sell. But MS bought Nokia's hardware division instead.

Don't get me wrong, Nokia was a good buy, but MS really needed to buy BB as well to be a large player in the mobile space.

Alas, But MSFT isn't Facebook... See a slight competition.. buy it out... :P :P
But it could happen.. BB has almost empty pockets.. MSFT deep pockets..

Would make a whole heap of sense for MSFT to buy BB, they would have a much stronger footing in enterprise markets than anybody else.

This is pretty shocking news to me. I met and spoke in-depth with an engineer on the SYNC team and they had recently rolled out a new generation of SYNC which was much improved and they were deep into its successor for Ford vehicles within the last six months. Maybe this is true, but it seems a bit out of nowhere.

I had the same thought. Maybe they keep using Microsoft for cars currently under development and then all new designs are switching. It definitely seems like it came out of nowhere though, Ford has put a lot of work into Sync and it's going to be a task starting over.

This was meant for cybersaurusrux? When I hit reply to him,it comes up here?? Anyway, What's embarrassing is your ignorance. Along with the new BlackBerry devices, QNX BlackBerry is involved with many companies. Here are just a few: Nasa, Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Chery, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Daewoo, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, Holden, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Saab, SsangYong, Subaru, Tata, Toyota, Vauxhall and VW, etc.etc.etc......

Lol, three times I hit reply in someone's post and it showed up under a completely different person. Strange but true? 

QNX was designed for this type of scenario. It's not as heavyweight as Windows; not to mention Windows was probably overkill for what they needed.

Early in QNX's life (1998ish) there was a demo that booted and ran from a 3 1/4 inch floppy, and that was a GUI environment.

Good luck getting support 1-2 years from now when BB is bankrupt and will have to file a chapter 7. Hopefully then, Microsoft can just buy QNX and be back in action.

Listen dude, no offense to BB, but they're in a hole too big to dig out of. The Z3 is far too late to make an impact and BB10 is a failure seeing how their old handsets outnumber the new ones by 3-to-1 and even with all of that, have less than a half of a percent market share. They don't have the ecosystem and they MAY be able to get by as an enterprise service company with BES and M2M solutions and stuff like that, but the days of BlackBerry are pretty much over. The day that they couldn't even get enough money to take them private confirmed it.

I don't want them to come up like Apple, Android, and Windows. I just want them to get better and rule the enterprise market. We have many things coming along the way and were not going anywhwere. It takes time and it takes patience. We will come up and when we do, I hope you crap your pants. :)

They're not going to rule enterprise unless you mean stuff like BES 10. The biggest story from their handsets was that the Pentagon supposedly bought 80,000 new phones, oh but wait... They weren't new phones. They were phones that they had in stock that weren't being used.
Also, no offense to you, but I don't think you understand the tech industry. When it comes to tech, there is no "patience". You either innovate or you die. Thinking you could just tell people to "be patient" is what has caused BB to be in the hole that they're in.

What few government contracts that BB have gotten can't sustain them. I forget which carrier it was, but one of the largest Canadian carriers doesn't support the Z30, the Canadian government is using iPhones, the US army is using Samsung. Government agencies are dropping BB, enterprise are dumping BB, and consumers/carriers are dropping BB. Why do BlackBerry people tend to be so oblivious to the problems that their favorite company faces? This "oh everything will work, just see" is why BB is in the single digit stock numbers.

I realize this, and when gov't get hacked and secret info is spilled all over the floor, I'm going to laugh at the morons who made the decision. I assume you use a Nokia, isn't Nokia in the single digit stocks to... Smh

If you want to consider semantics, yes, Nokia's stock price is single digits, but their D&S division is being sold to Microsoft so Microsoft can have control over the ecosystem and Microsoft is definitely not in the single digits. Either way, I was talking about market cap, which BB is worth ~5B while Nokia is with almost 30B

Yes, Nokia is way higher, and haven't they also been making really cheap affordable devices before BlackBerry... So they have had a lot more time to make money.

Actually, Nokia's first Symbian phones didn't come out until 2004, 5 years after BB's phones first came out. Unless you mean the modern OSes like WP8 and BB10, which would only give Nokia a 4 month head start.

The Nokia 9000 communicator that came out in 1996, was not a Symbian device. And the communicators in general were not consider as smartphones back then, the line switched to Symbian later on, at early 2000s with the Symbian Series 90, a powerful OS platform that never actually catch up. Nokia's Symbian efforts and powerhouse was always all about the Series 60 platform.

Nokia had Microsoft backing them. Who is backing BB? They just don't have the resources to keep fighting for much longer. Their main hope is to survive as a services company.

Only problem for BB is cash flow. They don't have deep enough pockets to survive much longer. I could be wrong but didn't even the Canadian carries pass on giving the Z30 shelf space?

You know I don't want to start anything big here but you are being "fanboy" to the extreme. Only a fanboy would say the things you said after their platform had finally gained some ground (not much) in the market. Shall we go back in time 3 years ago when these exact things were being said about WP7? This is almost as bad as some of the people on here that were diss'n BB10 for a lack of apps when it first launched. I currently am using a Q10, however I've been a WP fan since the beginning, flashing it on my HD2. BB10 is a great OS that needs some polishing up. There are maany frustrations that need to be worked out but at least it released with "copy/paste" something MS can't say.

I agree BB as a devices company is on life support. They may survive as a company going forward but not one the majority of Crackberry readers will want to read about IMO.

For all we know MS and Ford may still be negotiating on pricing for the next gen product, and this leak is just a negotiating ploy by Ford.

Bb sucks everybody knows that! Youre gonna be bankrupt in 5 years. The company is so miserable that they developed their only winning point in mobile (BBM) on other OSes! You make me laugh lol

How do they suck? They are leading in the enterprise market. We just started from the bottom and we are slowly coming back up. You hear all the negative sides about BlackBerry. Know one ever heares the positive sides on BlackBerry.

 

Blackberry tried to sell themselves and no one wanted to buy them, even for pennies on the dollar. BB fans are the new Linux fans, always popping in with their bizarre "20xx is the year of BlackBerry" comments even though nobody gives a rat's ass about their demonstrably worthless OS. It's been going on since the days of OS/2...

"Blackberry tried to sell themselves and no one wanted to buy them, even for pennies on the dollar."

 

Actually,  this is incorrect. Lenovo was all set and ready to purchase Blackberry. But, much to the ire of investors, the Canadian government stepped in and prevented the sale. 

Doesn't change the fact that until now BB has no takers for the easy reason that it's not a good buy.

Z3 is the last chance for BB. If that does not sell very well, it's game over. Let me hazard a guess - it will only be a moderate success at most but I have a feeling it will be even less than that. I'm basing my guess on the great probability it's not going to cost lower than the Lumia 520 or lower than the multitude of cheap Androids out there.

For the sake of the employees and the loyal fans of BB, I hope it succeeds but I'm afraid we're seeing the last days of BB.

Maybe but it's there, just like Skype, SkyDrive, etc and most of the time, they work better on other platforms than on WP.

Well those are all cross platform applications, theyve been that way since microsoft started working on em. Otherwise microsoft wouldnt be called a software company bro

Sorry for my first it was a little bit harsh maybe BB isnt that bad but in my opinion it cant survive in this tech generation. Its just expressing opinions:)

well they dont really work better on other platforms than on WP, most aps on other platforms perform worse than the WP equivilent.

Actually they dont! Skype on iOS is better than ours. I dont know about android. Onedrive is now on the same level it has options no other cloud service could offer.

Where does this fairytale come from? Most apps in WP are worse! To name a few.. Skype, whatsapp, Facebook, so on..

Actually, I find even Office works better on every platform other than WP. Editing in Excel is useless if you can't copy and paste formulas (i.e. just making a sequence of numbers/years). WP can't do this, but Docs2Go owned by Blackberry does this fine and is available on BB, Android, and iOS. My kids teachers send Word doc newsletters, but WP just says it's a corrupted file (probably because it's an older format, 2003), but I can see the attachments just fine on iPhone, BB, or Android. It's pitiful.

The debate wasn't whether you needed a subscription or not. 

You said "The company is so miserable that they developed their only winning point in mobile (BBM) on other OSes!"

If it's bad business sense for Blackberry to place their "only winning point in mobile on other OSes," then it has to be bad business sense for Microsoft to do the same. Considering the fact that Skype, OneDrive, Office, etc are applications that are important parts of Microsoft's ecosystem, then Microsoft is just as guilty of being "miserable."

Well microsoft has done a pretty good job spreading their cross platform services to different kinds of people. The point about skydrive and skype was to get the service to anybody who needs it with any device, but bbm was the only point consumers bought blackberry devices, because it was a blackberry exclusive. You know what i mean it was like imessage on iOS, ONLY ON BB PHONES. Just like Office's full experience only on windows phone. This was the approach for BBM not spreading it for everyone. This shows how much bb10 lacks from android, iOS and even wp. Cuz when u dont have something special people r gonna look for the simple stuff that bb10 simply doesnt have!

I like Windows to thank you. When Windows first started in phones, everyone laughed saying they weren't going to make it. They have and their continuing to grow. BlackBerry is the same way, 10 has completely changed, and now were slowly coming up.

Except Windows Phone's market share and sales to end users have never gone down quarter over quarter, unlike BB10, so they're not even close to the same thing. When BB gets at least 1% market share, then call me because the IDC disagrees with your "we will come back" notion.

Believe what you want buddy. Watch us come back. I will even buy a box of tissues for you when you cry that BlackBerry has come back.

What do you mean "believe"? These are hard facts from BB and Nokia themselves. I guess real facts don't make it past the BB distortion field.

There's nothing to "believe." His reply is based on facts. The IDC has hard numbers that show Blackberry's market share going down, over the past few quarters. Meanwhile, Windows Phone's marketshare has climbed considerably, due in large part to Nokia's push in to developing markets with low-cost handsets. 

You can be a fan of Blackberry, but don't dismiss hard facts. This is the reality of the situation. You simply can't turn a blind eye to the competition.

BB's last hope hinges on the Z3. If it sells millions like the Lumia 520, then it will grow from there. But the only way for it to succeed is to match the price point of the 520 and the innumerable cheap Androids, and better still to undercut these phones in price.

But I'm afraid that's not gonna happen. So I see the Z3 get only moderate success at best, but probably it'll only get a low success rate.

As I said, I hope for the employees' sake and the BB fans it will prosper but I think we're seeing the death rattle of BB.

Fact Check: I agree with your point of view in this debate.  However, there was a sequential decline in Windows Phone Q3 2013 to Q4 2013.  On your other points, I agree.  

No, activations of WP went up QoQ. Sales from Nokia to carriers went down, but sales from carriers to consumers went up.

Other than the Pentagon real, what other deals makes you say they are coming back up? They need several consistent big orders like the pentagon to stay alive. Are they coming up every month?

The thing that people are forgetting is that QNX has been around before Blackberry took over the OS in 2010. With that said, let Blackberry have their nitch. If Microsoft's sync system was causing issues, then they should switch to something that is proven and works. What Microsoft need to do is focus on the four eco systems, PC, tablet, Xbox, and phone.

 

I realize they are trying to saturate the market by being in many different areas, but maybe the trick for them is to stick to making their OS more fluid and usable over multiple hardware platforms. Complete that one vision and make it work well, and they will see extraordinary growth and popularity. Then they can expand to other areas, if they would like. Too much too soon can and will be their issue.

BB took $1B from Fairfax and other investors and talks to Canada of another $1B which it gonna return as specially high taxes. They really are out of money. Besides, bankrupt doesn't mean being out of money, it means being unable to pay back your loan when you have to. You better go find out what a word means before trying to catch an teach someone. He just meant BB is almost a bankrupt.

Atop trolling the comments.I am a Android fanboy and even I admit that Windows Phone is in a much better position than BB.Microsoft cash reserves are huge not to mention all the talented designers they are gonna get from Nokia.Have you looked at the 8.1 change log?If it turns out to be true then MS just caught up with 80% of the features Android has.BB has nothing in comparison.I look forward to buying a Lumia after 8.1 is released and I won't give a rats was about the z3 and I know there are many with me

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

That's actually not true. They owe almost a billion and their cash on hand is just over two billion. They have a bit more if you include short and long term investments, but the way they are bleeding money, they don't have long to right the ship.

I'm no bb fan and yeah maybe in a few years it might be called nokmicroberry but QNX ain't bad and they still have the government behind them.

Before BB dies, QNX will be sold off. They've lasted at least 16 year that I know of, and they were around some time before I heard of them.

 That's funny. You must be reading BGR too much? BlackBerry is here to stay. BB10 is just getting started. 

The only Americans I ever see argue about American car brands are rednecks. But they aren't educated so it's expected.

Or Driver Returns On Foot

 

That said--i do hope MSFT buys QNX.  When RIM stops making phones, this will be a good option and gets them a nice backend messaging service through BBM.  Google and AAPL have been making aggressive buys, and think MSFT could do well to acquire them as well.  Lenovo is out now that they bought Motorola...

As a Canadian, I kind of have to love RIM...but there just is no future there as a handset maker. 

Works just fine in my 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. I like the Fusion A LOT! I think they had problems early on, but I have no major complaints. (only thing I can think of is the audio doesn't remember to stay in surround sound.)

Exactly! The base Sync worked great. It's the high end models where Ford added a bunch of crap that got the bad reviews.

Kind of like the PC. Base Windows is good until the PC makers start gunking it up with crapware.

those things look like gangsta cars or like the cars from original robocop

 

i say go for whatever car you like and who cares what others think, especially davegx lol

 

i dont know if 49k is good value, if i convert to sterling it sounds reasonable but personally i never buy new cars only nearly new because i was taught that way. so even if i have the money i cant deal with it losing so much value as soon as i drive it off the forecourt. it physically hurts my soul. i deal with it with phones because they are somwhat more affordable but even if i was a billionaire i dont think i could do it for a car. unless it was a million pound one off customised personal chariot with a new sexy chauffeur chick each day for 5 years thrown in, maybe i'd think about it

i also like doing deals with the dealer, i like to get the dealer manager's own car or the demo models because they usually kit them out and are way cheaper and still have most of the original warranty anyway. also you can do a good part exchange at the same time if you swap cars every time bmw come out with a new model

at least that's what i do

my car is so stealthy you can never see it on the rooftops or underground, or even on the roads. once i even drove through your house while you were playing with your phone but you never noticed. it's the latest secret tech. you have a nice house though

Does it make you feel good to be a parrot? "Foreign cars ar ALWAYS better than any domestic car". Ford has caught up, go drive one.

I live in LA, a foreign dominated car market. Now that the new Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion models have been out a few years now I see them everywhere. More and more each day. People apparently love them. I have a Mazdaspeed 3, but had I not I'd be all over a Focus ST.

I'm not fighting with you on this one but, driving one does very little for me. I care about reliability 2-5 years from now. How are Fords doing in this category.

Remarkably well. They have stepped their game up big time in the last 5-7 years. Ford-manufactured cars frequently place amongst the top-10 best built cars on the road in JD Power type surveys. 10 years ago they weren't even coming close. Its actually a bit surprising.

My '06 mustang gt never had a single issue. Other than regular maintenance it never saw a repair shop/the dealership.

too bad my cousin totaled it in October or I would've said it's still running great.

I have 3 fords a 96 150 a 97 mustang and a 03 e250 aka the shag wagon they all run beautifully most major thing I've done to them is rebuild the engine on the f150 because I was racing and the piston blew up, I also have a 96 Chevy blazer have to replace the fuel pump again and the 4wd sometimes struggles to engage but with any vehicle they need maintenance but I just hate dodges though the trucks are kinda ugly to me

im a european car person but i always loved the mustangs even the modern ones. so many times have i thought about buying a right hand conversion or doing it myself but never did. now fordy ford are releasing one for the uk but can i give up the bmw or possibly the new jag? im thinking its a hard decision

people dont like idrive but i love it, its so easy and the sat nav is great, im sure others are ok too, i like the merc system but havent really checked out what fords, hondas etc have been up to recently in that area

BMW makes a great car, but their infotainment system is somthing I can not live without, have never used anything better. 

That has not been true for me. I drive a 2009 Ford Focus that has Sync and both of my WP's, the 521 and now 925 work fine with it. Both devices connected up in a snap. I use it everyday for calling and more importantly to listen to my music library. I'm even able to get my text messages read to me.

I've had no problems with it.

YOur text message thing is the WP8 function, and not SYNC. When I'm using my 8X with my BT earpiece, the phone will read the text messages to me and ask me if I want to make a reply. It's the phone and not the car.

Like Cherokee said, that doesn't use Sync technology, it uses Bluetooth, like any other car that has Bluetooth. So what you are describing isn't the "sync" technology. That's just Bluetooth.

Hey...lets ditch the billion dollar company that will still be around in 50 years for the nickel and dime company that can count its time left in months. What idiot made this call?

While BB is still in trouble, their QNX division is not. QNX will not disappear. Their software is used in a lot of places, including nuclear plants.

4 Billion :). The onlt thing that jumped Microsoft up is the Xbox. If it wasn't for that, they would be way lower. And nobody would care about Microsoft.

Bull$#it! The enterprise division is freaking huge. Compare that division to RIM and you'll see. What about Office alone? AZURE? Patents? All these bring billions for Microsoft.

Lol, seriously that's you're only comeback? Sorry man, Blackberry. Happy? :) I'm sorry Blackberry won't win the Enterprise fight just like they couldn't cut it in the consumer market.

You're telling people to read about stuff when you just said: "The onlt thing that jumped Microsoft up is the Xbox. If it wasn't for that, they would be way lower."

I think you're actually brain damaged. You are TOO stupid.

Seriously, Xbox isn't even a blip on Microsoft's financial statements. They make their money from Office and Windows sales and have very profitable enterprise , servers, and cloud services businesses.

Are you an idiot? Microsoft makes more profit in a quarter than BB is worth. They have divisions that do more revenue in a quarter than BB will all year.

I myself am suprised by this honsestly. But it makes sense because lots of other forein cars are using BlackBerry's QNX system. Ford wants to follow also I guess. Let's see how this turns out.

Honestly, I think Microsoft is waiting for the price to drop. For a billion or less there would be some nice tie ins to Microsoft's current businesses...not to mention the patents.

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