Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

BlackBerry's exit ramp from smartmobes is approaching

As foreshadowed in February, Ford has announced a new in-car entertainment and communications system that will run on BlackBerry's QNX real-time operating system, not Windows as is the case for the company's current efforts.

Ford Sync 3 will offer touch-screen and voice recognition controls. The latter will allow drivers to command both their vehicle and apps on their phone. Siri control is another feature.

The auto-maker's offered a touch-screen system for some time now, but it's widely regarded as one of its weak points. A complete refresh on a new operating system therefore looks like a good move.

It's certainly one BlackBerry will appreciate, as broader uptake of QNX is one of its hoped-for exit routes from the mucky world of smartphones. A few million highly-visible QNX machines shipped each year will therefore be most appreciated.

The list of disappointed parties is long. Microsoft, for one, won't be pleased because it hates to lose at anything and is talking up heirs to Windows embedded as ideal for all Internet of things applications.

Apple is probably also upset, it's made a bid for in-car iOS that hasn't exactly set the world alight. So has Intel.

Even the Xen Project, which has bet on automotive virtualisation, could be licking its wounds.

Ford won't care a jot about those disappointments. Materials like the video below show it thinks it's on a winner with its new system. ®

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