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Ford ships Microsoft-powered car tech to Europe

Carmaker says it's bringing Sync, the Microsoft-powered auto software to its European lineup, beginning with the 2012 of the Ford Focus.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
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Microsoft's and Ford's collaboration on Sync, the in-vehicle communications and entertainment system, is headed across the pond.

Earlier today, Ford CEO Alan Mulally announced the company's plans to bring Sync to its European models. He spoke at this week's CeBit trade show in Hannover, Germany.

Ford will begin with the 2012 model of the Focus. Other models that will ship with the technology installed have not been announced yet.

Sync was first introduced by Microsoft and Ford at CES in 2007. The technology is based on Microsoft Auto, the Windows CE-based embedded OS, which is also used by Fiat for its Blue&Me system and Kia for its UVO technology.

Among its uses in Sync are voice-activated hands-free calling; traffic, directions and information (TDI); and search and play tools for portable media players. Later versions of the technology include AppLink, a platform that lets the voice-controlled system interface with applications on connected smartphones.

Microsoft said that Ford has installed Sync in more than 3 million vehicles and that the company plans to bring the technology to more than 2 million vehicles in Europe by 2015.