Windows on the Road: MS Teams Up with Ford

Dennis Faas's picture

As if crazy drivers gabbing on their cell phones wasn't enough of an irritation on the road, imagine those same people being able to check their email while behind the wheel. If it sounds like a demented fantasy, think again.

Microsoft and Ford are reportedly set to announce a joint partnership that will place Windows-based computers in Ford cars. The car PCs will run on software currently being referred to as Sync.

In addition to email, Sync will feature hands-free cell phone capabilities, music and media downloads, and automatic navigation updates. The latter features are, of course, just fancier versions of existing tech already available to drivers.

Email, however, is obviously a whole new ballgame for the automobile industry. It could turn into the future equivalent of what we see today with careless drivers concentrating on their cell phones instead of the road.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this technology will debut in two 2007 Ford models. By 2008, it is expected to be available in every car in the Ford lineup. Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will eventually feature computers as well. (Source:

Certain Italian cars (the Fiat Grande Punto and the Alfa Romeo Brera 159 and Spider models, for any car buffs reading this) already feature similar technology, but this joint venture between Microsoft and Ford is a first for the North American market.

Both companies are keeping a tight lid on the details for now, but Microsoft has confirmed the agreement and says that more information will be released in the second week of January during the Consumer Electronics Show and the Detroit Auto Show. (Source:

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