With Team Upshift – is Microsoft now out of the car infotainment business as well?


Saw Ford and Google just started a JV focusing on connected cars and leaving Microsoft in the dust. After experiencing the lackluster Ford SYNC in multiple rentals during the years I can’t say I blame Ford for ditching Microsoft but it makes me wonder how many more areas Microsoft can afford to be left out in.

Comments (17)

17 responses to “With Team Upshift – is Microsoft now out of the car infotainment business as well?”

  1. kingbuzzo

    I think Microsoft SYNC was replaced by Ford SYNC (powered by bungberry) years ago.

    They just wanted the cloud revenue anyways...everything consumer turns into nothing :(

  2. illuminated

    I am not sure if Sync failure was Microsofts fault. They just provided platform. Automakers just suck at software development in general and then use slowest hardware to run it. In my pretty new car I have to wait 2-3 minutes before I can use navigation but it always has to show a big splash screen that warns me about dangers of distracted driving or something.

    • jwpear

      In reply to illuminated:

      Not sure if they suck at software in general, but it does seem most infotainment systems are junk. At least that's the case with the user experience. I'm not holding my breath on this getting better with the Ford/Android move. Case in point, my Honda runs its infotainment system on Android. It is absolute junk--terrible UI/UX, black screens, occasionally beeps and flickers like the touch interface is bad. I don't believe for a minute that's Android's fault.

      The best thing that's happened in recent years is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I just wish I could control the other functions of my infotainment system with either of those. Since getting those in our more recent vehicles, it has felt as though we have it backwards. I want CarPlay/AA apps that can run my infotainment features instead of an infotainment system that can run CarPlay/AA.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to illuminated:

      Semantics on whether MSFT bears any responsibility. Just providing Visual Studio for automobiles was sufficient? Not to establish a steady revenue stream. If the goal wasn't a steady revenue stream, what was the goal? Be rather a substantial departure from MSFT's established practice.

      As for automaker's ability with software, I haven't seen many news articles about failure of anti-locking breaks. OTOH, I have had issues with VW 'intelligence' with respect to windshield wipers: apparently VW firmware believed that if one's traveling under 10 MPH, one doesn't really need wipers going full speed, not even in stop-and-go freeway traffic.

      Curmudgeon warning: as for electronic maps and directions, humanity seems to be losing the ability to read maps or follow simple directions if they don't appear on a screen.

      • illuminated

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Reducing wipers speed when going under 10 MPH is pretty good idea. I do not have VW but I have no complaints about automatic wipers or lights.

        As for electronic maps I can just imagine some medieval hringrv complaining about youngsters who are losing the ability to navigate by stars and trees because of paper maps.

  3. anoldamigauser

    The whole point of the connected car is data collection, and the reason for that is that the data can be monetized. These systems are not designed to be used while driving, since many tasks are multi-step and require your attention...which when you are driving, should be on the freaking road and the vehicles around you. The older systems of buttons and dials are simply easier to use via muscle memory and do not need your attention. The other issue with these systems is that the service life of a car, is much longer than the service life of the electronics. A better solution would be a standard connector that could accommodate the electronics we already have.

    Piloting a multi ton vehicle safely is something that takes one's full attention, and if one cannot commit to that, one should not be sitting behind the wheel. There are buses and trains for just such occasions.

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