Ford was Microsoft’s most prominent partner in the automotive business for its software. (File photo)
Ford has found a new software partner to power its in-car entertainment and communications systems, making plans to drop technology from Microsoft in favor of software from BlackBerry.
For its Sync in-car system, which connects to mobile phones for access to music and other digital services, Ford intends to use software called QNX made by BlackBerry rather than the embedded version of Windows, Microsoft’s operating system, according to two people briefed on the automaker’s plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans are still private.
News of the switch was first reported in the February issue of the Hansen Report, an auto industry newsletter.
Problems with Ford’s in-car systems, especially as the company introduced versions that came with dashboard touch screens, hurt the company’s customer satisfaction ratings in recent years.
Ford was Microsoft’s most prominent partner in the automotive business for its software. For years, Microsoft has tried to make variations of its Windows operating system an ingredient in technologies used in a variety of industries, including health care and manufacturing, but none of the efforts has achieved anything like the company’s success in PCs.
Susannah Wesley, a spokeswoman for Ford, declined to comment about the future of its technology relationship with Microsoft.
“Ford works with a variety of partners and suppliers to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers,” she said. “We do not discuss details of our work with others or speculate on future products for competitive reasons.”