Ford's SYNC system is winning friends left and right, with CNET giving it the nod as Coolest New Car Tech and The Detroit News calling it "the best $395 option of 2007". Sales of the Ford Focus, in which the system debuted, are up 22.5% this year, despite the car's iffy redesign. According to Ford, consumers are choosing to add SYNC to their cars two to one over those who skip it, and Microsoft, which supplies the software to run SYNC, has noticed this popularity. The software giant from Redmond has pretty big plans for its Automotive Business Unit beyond supporting Ford's SYNC system, and hopes to give its software system "daily relevance" within five years by networking infotainment systems with each other. A local search function, for instance, could offer multiple possible routes based on up-to-the-minute information gathered from the network.

All of these upgrades need to be paid for somehow, and Martin Thall, the General Manager of Microsoft's Automotive Business Unit, has suggested that they may integrate advertisements into the infotainment system as opposed to charging subscription fees like General Motors does with its OnStar service. After all, you hear ads on your radio and pass by billboards every time you get in your car, right? Would serving up advertisements or coupons to Starbucks while you're driving be a distraction, though? They better think this through carefully.

[Source: CNET]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X