Coming to car near you

Imagine you are driving peacefully on your Ford on Highway 101. There is the mandatory accident at Marsh Road exit and someone driving a Chevy Tahoe at 55 miles/hr on the left lane blocking your view of not just the road ahead, but also of the sun. Then there is that someone driving a 1900 Toyota Corolla thinking it is a Ferrari weaving across lanes, you know, the usual stuff. Your car halts abruptly, brings a window on the display and informs you that it has downloaded the latest updates and the machine needs a reboot to proceed. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but some version of this is soon possible as Ford is planning to install an in-vehicle operating system developed by Microsoft in Focus and Five Hundred sedans.

The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker will unveil next month a hands-free Bluetooth wireless system and in-vehicle operating system developed by Microsoft that will eventually be an option for its entire Ford brand lineup, according to people familiar with the matter. The new system, to be dubbed Sync, will allow for hands-free cellphone communication and other wireless information transfers inside the car, including the ability to receive email and download music, these people said.

Sync is based on Microsoft’s automotive operating system that has been under development in recent years by the company’s Windows Automotive division, which in 2004 struck a broad development deal with Fiat related to in-car computing. A person close to Microsoft said the company has turned in a spotty performance when it comes to Bluetooth technologies and that the Ford deal could help spur Microsoft’s efforts. [Ford Aims to Jazz Up Its Fleet With Microsoft Pact (subscription reqd.)]

Thankfully this will not affect Indians in the United States as we drive only Hondas and Toyotas.

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