• Aug 7, 2007

Way back in January at CES, we got a personal demonstration of Ford's SYNC from the Microsoft Auto program manager in Vegas, and later, another demonstration from Ford in Detroit. Except for being slow to use and not all that useful, SYNC wasn't terribly complicated.

But FoMoCo isn't taking any chances and wants to ensure that the high-tech merging of their cars and your gadgets won't go over the heads of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury buyers. The carmaker is offering all its dealers extra training on the use of SYNC before the system goes on sale this fall.

Personally, we wonder if Ford is training its dealers how to sell the system more so than how to use it. As we watched the demonstration at CES we were never wowed or shown anything we hadn't seen before. It's good Ford is upping its in-car technology, but we aren't inclined to think that SYNC will be what drives buyers into Ford dealerships. Then again maybe training could help. At my last visit to a Ford dealership, it took the salesman 15 minutes to figure out how to work the Edge's power-folding rear seat.

Click through to the jump to see a video of our Ford demo.

[Source: Automotive News, subscription required]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can't understand why you're not 'wowed' by this. I can't even get a basic Aux input for my MP3 player on most cars, and now Ford comes out with a REAL entertainment solution and you guys aren't impressed? Whatever. This will weigh heavily into my next car purchase so I do think this will help drive sales. The fact that it's made by Microsoft, the worlds most respected company (look it up), is just icing on the cake. Color me an impressed future Ford customer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "what can i do to put you in this i-pod today? so, what do you want your monthly payments to be on your bluetooth? gee, i can't discount that cuz, you see, they put that rust proofing on the SD card slots at the factory..."
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love how one blogger is writing about how dangerous gadgetry is in vehicles and that the industry needs to find ways to solve this new problem, the next is ripping the first system to make voice activation a reality for integration of music and cell phones. Slow- maybe a bit (not really for a 1st gen of something like this), useless- I have to disagree.

      Maybe as with the rest of the bluetooth and MP3 controls, you can just get distracted and look at your dashboard the whole time, maybe you won't even hit someone.

      They already announced the pricing by the way, it's $400. Which seems very reasonable to me. On top of that, they already said they'd be upgrading firmware and adding options that will be able to be retroactive to existing units. Sounds really useless to me.

      You must really hate Ford or probably domestics in general.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I heard it from a little birdy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sounds to me like there's just a couple people who are determined to dump on this either because it's Microsoft or Ford. Everyone's entitled to their own religion (be it cars or PC's) but at least try to be somewhat informed before picking a side. Ford is building some great cars and nobody makes an OS that is more compatible with more hardware and more software than Microsoft. Not by a long shot. With any luck this will be a system available on most cars in the near future.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Misinformation and confusion on this message board and the level of knowledge of the "typical" ford customer and salesconsultant is the perfect example why Ford is making a genuine effort to support this innovative product. -FoMoCo Zone Manager
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not me. I (and I'd guess many others) don't want MS anywhere NEAR my car. So I'll either stay away from Ford or just skip Sync. Hopefully they will get the message.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I doubt most people really care that it's made by Microsoft since they still control 90% of the OS market. Personally I would have preferred some smaller audio maker like Creative, but most people don't even know who they are (plus I doubt they can do something quite like this). At least it's not made by Apple which makes everything proprietary and impossible to fix if it's ever broken.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's nice, but I have 2 issues:
        1) I don't want MS dominating another industry
        2) I use a Treo 650 and probably will get an iPhone. Where is MS's incentive to make this work well with these devices? How well does it integrate with the iPod and Blackberries vs Zune and WinMobile.

        Simply, I don't trust MS at all.
          • 7 Years Ago
          It works just as well with IPod as it does with the Zune or a USB drive. I am not 100% on blackberries at this point but as long as it's bluetooth, the phone portion of it and the text messaging will work. The only issue may be the phone book, in which case, you can still access it from the phone (and it may work, I'm just not sure).

          The incentive for making it work is that Ford told them it needed to work. Ford doesn't care about MS and Apple's stupid little arguments, it wants what the consumer wants- and it got it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Please just watch this video.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMaA_r9-1zo
      • 7 Years Ago
      You don't think this is useful? I don't know what price tag Ford will put on it, but if it's reasonable in price this thing is extremely useful. I don't know how many times I've wished that I could make calls through my bluetooth on my cell phone (this system lets you transfer calls without hanging up) or select a specific song on my playlist through voice. Plus it allows me to connect USB hard drives and play music. I don't own an MP3 player because I don't have any place to use it except in my car. With this I can just use those 2 gig free after rebate pen drives in my car. Nothing the guy in the video did took longer than 15 seconds. Quick and simple. You gotta really hate Ford to call this useless and slow. Just hoping the pricing doesn't get in the way. I can't see myself paying more than a couple hundred bucks for this thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not to mention it comes standard in Lincolns. Sync is actually making me buy a Ford, Mecury, Lincoln when my lease is up in Feb, even though I was considering the new Mazda 6.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford can't even build reliable power windows and they expect this to work? I wouldn't go near this with a 10 foot pole.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There are demos on You Tube and on Autoblog where they use the IPod.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When you first reported on this you said you were impressed. So which one is it? I think it is a wonderful feature. And Please tell me one car where I can get all of these features. If Ford is sooo late to offering this in their cars, then you should be able to tell me atleast one car that I can plug any USB memory storage device (not just an iPod or aux input) into it and play music by using voice commands and take phone calls seamlessly. Also one that reads aloud the song and displays it on the screen. Go ahead...just one.

      I think this is an amazing feature and it has definitely made me consider trading in my civic for a new Fusion with sync.It also has a play similar feature and you can say aloud a certain genre or play list. Thats what really gets me going about this!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I beleive Nissan/Infiniti has most of this stuff. I've played with the system in the M35/45 and it worked perfectly with my Treo - calling, answering, etc. IIRC they also have a jack for MP3 players/iPods.

        So, tell me how this is better?
        • 7 Years Ago
        From Autoblog's demo:

        "During our demo, we saw a Zune player (like we said, it's Microsoft) plugged into the audio jack inside the armrest storage area,"

        Guess they only got it with the least pouplar player, not the most popular (iPod). And I wonder how this will work with things like Zens, Sansas, etc.

        I don't have much faith in MS making this stuff work well with things that are not theirs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ItGuy,

        Sync supports Zune, iPod, and PlaysForSure Devices. It even plays purchased DRM-ed music for all the devices I just listed. You really should do some research on Sync because it really is a great system. I've been reading on it and watching demos since it was first announced.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Its simply a jack...You cannot command the iPod from the cars system. You still have to deal with using the iPod or MP3 player as the interface instead of simply using voice commands or seeing it on the cars center stack screen. You also can command any MP3 device...even just a memory stick with music on it. It also charges your iPod while you are listening to the music so you will never run out of battery life even on long road trips.

        And, almost all fords come standard with that same auxillery input jack. The sync system is an option that greatly enhances the way people use an iPod or MP3 player in their car. To me the most amazing thing is not the phone part, but the iPod and music integration by simply speaking commands and not even dealing with the music device at all!
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