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Ford Announces Sync AppLink – WTF MS?

So today Ford announced SYNC AppLink which will launch on the 2011 Ford Fiesta. here are parts of the press release so you know what this is and how they describe it (to properly set up my rant:)):

  • Ford will first offer SYNC® AppLink, a downloadable software program, on the 2011 Fiesta, allowing owners to access and control Android™ and BlackBerry® smartphone apps with voice commands and vehicle controls
  • Pandora internet radio, Stitcher "smart radio" and Orangatame’s OpenBeak are the first SYNC-enabled mobile applications
  • Ford to create SYNC developer community with launch of new "Mobile Application Developer Network" (,  giving developers a pathway to partner with Ford on SYNC-enabled applications
  • Ford’s platform approach with SYNC is poised to harness smartphone app development and mobile web access; apps expected to be a $4 billion industry by 2012; analysts predict the mobile device to become the No. 1 source for Internet access by 2015

“The Android Market and BlackBerry App World™ are among the leading growth markets for mobile apps. The new SYNC AppLink will seamlessly integrate apps using the vehicle’s voice and user interface controls, including buttons on the steering wheel, increasing eyes-on-the-road and hands-on-the-wheel time.”

OK, so why is there a rant pending? Sync is actually a Microsoft project. Check it out here. “Ford and Microsoft worked closely together to design and engineer SYNC, which is based on state-of-the art Microsoft Auto software.” Even look at the press release graphic. And of course Wiki reminds us that Sync is based on Windows CE. In fact, when I first heard about this I presumed it would get integrated right into WM since this is just a nice extension of Voice Command. But no. So thank you MS for supporting WM 6.5 as you promised by releasing an updated platform with support for Blackberry and Android. Bravo and way to show by example how the rest of the community should act.

By the way, we were told verbally that WP7 would be supported so I guess it’s not all bad news. And no one can claim that MS is entering into an anti-trust/monopolistic patterns with Windows Mobile – that must be their motivation:)