Big Win for BlackBerry As Ford to Drop Microsoft Windows

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Ford Motors Inc. (“Ford”), looking to improve its slump in consumer satisfaction surveys, has been reported to be integrating BlackBerry’s QNX in its fleet of cars, replacing Microsoft’s Windows.

Ford apparently has been struggling with in-car system flaws running on Microsoft’s system. Ford has more than 7 million vehicles on the road with Sync, its connectivity system to smart devices.

Using BlackBerry’s QNX will be less expensive than the Microsoft route.

Ford has seen a slump in surveys by J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports, with customers complaining of malfunctioning technology systems and touch screens.

In-car technology is the top selling point for 39% of auto buyers, more than twice the more important than traditional measures like power and speed, according to a recent study by Accenture last December.

QNX can be found in cars made by Volkswagen AG’s Audi and BMW units. BlackBerry bought QNX Software Systems for US$200 million in 2010. QNX is a highly-robust, highly-scalable operating system used to manage nuclear power plants by the US Military, and is also used by huge companies like CISCO, General Electric and Caterpillar Inc.

In-car systems are currently dominated by QNX and Microsoft, although Apple is working with several automotive companies to bring its iOS system to cars as well.

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Source: Bloomberg

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