Redmond at the Wheel
The battle for the embedded OS market between Windows and Linux is moving into
high gear with reports that Ford is putting its full corporate weight behind
Microsoft. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal
reported recently that Ford Motor Co. will unveil Sync, an in-car operating
system developed by Microsoft.
Sync will allow in-vehicle, hands-free phone communication and other types
of information transfers, such as e-mail or music downloads, according to the
Microsoft's Windows Automotive division has been around for a while. Sync is
based on its existing automotive operating system, the WSJ wrote. The automotive
division struck a deal with Fiat in 2004.
Burton Group analyst Peter O'Kelly says that while Sync isn't groundbreaking
technology, it could have some appeal, and fits into Microsoft's game plan of
late. Here's what he wrote to us in an e-mail, basing his comments on the WSJ
article and not an official company briefing:
"While the rumored capabilities of the offering don't seem revolutionary
-- many people already have Bluetooth-based phone integration in their cars
today, for example -- I expect the option of having an end-to-end Microsoft
solution will be attractive to some customers using Windows Mobile phones, and
perhaps there will at some point be integration options for Windows laptops
and other PC-centric devices as well (e.g., for expanded and simplified Microsoft
Outlook synchronization, and perhaps music/other media synchronization as well)."
What do you think about Microsoft's move into automotive software? Will corporate
coders soon be writing custom apps on top of the Sync OS for their automotive
fleets? And what kind of applications would you like (and not like!) to see
developed for an in-car OS? E-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Michael Desmond on 01/03/2007 at 1:15 PM